BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: MCA aneurysms are still commonly clipped surgically despite the recent development of a number of endovascular tools and techniques. We measured clinical uncertainty by studying the reliability of decisions made for patients with middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysms. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A portfolio of 60 MCA aneurysms was presented to surgical and endovascular specialists who were asked whether they considered surgery or endovascular treatment to be an option, whether they would consider recruitment of the patient in a randomized trial, and whether they would provide their final management recommendation. Agreement was studied using k statistics. Intrarater reliability was assessed with the same, permuted portfolio of cases of MCA aneurysm sent to the same specialists 1 month later. RESULTS: Surgical management was the preferred option for neurosurgeons (n ¼ 844/1320; [64%] responses/22 raters), while endovascular treatment was more commonly chosen by interventional neuroradiologists (1149/1500 [76.6%] responses/25 raters). Interrater agreement was only "slight" for all cases and all judges (k ¼ 0.094; 95% CI, 0.068-0.130). Agreement was no better within specialties or with more experience. On delayed requestioning, 11 of 35 raters (31%) disagreed with themselves on at least 20% of cases. Surgical management and endovascular treatment were always judged to be a treatment option, for all patients. Trial participation was offered to patients 65% of the time. CONCLUSIONS: Individual clinicians did not agree regarding the best management of patients with MCA aneurysms. A randomized trial comparing endovascular with surgical management of patients with MCA aneurysms is in order.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology