Is neurosurgery referral warranted for small brain aneurysms?
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The risk of rupture of a small cerebral aneurysm (<10 mm) is very low in asymptomatic patients who have never had a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Because the risk of morbidity and mortality from surgical intervention significantly exceeds that of nonsurgical monitoring for this group, primary care physicians do not need to refer patients with this condition to a neurosurgeon for clipping (strength of recommendation [SOR]: B, based on cohort and case-control studies). For patients managed conservatively, annual office follow-up and imaging evaluation should be considered, and is necessary if a specific symptom should arise (SOR: C, based on expert opinion).
Journal of Family Practice, 52(7) 2003: 560+.