Geometric and Morphologic Features of Ruptured Intracranial Aneurysms Associated with Methamphetamine Use

M. Travis Caton, Jeffrey Vitt, Eric R. Smith, Daniel Cooke, Karl Meisel, Nerissa Ko, Edilberto Amorim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Methamphetamine (MA) use is associated with poor outcomes after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). MA exerts both hemodynamic and inflammatory effects, but whether these manifest with altered intracranial aneurysm (IA) remodeling is unknown. The objective of this study was to compare IA geometric and morphologic features in patients with and without MA detected on urine toxicology (Utox) at presentation. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 160 consecutive patients with SAH and Utox at time of admission. Geometric-morphologic IA characteristics were assessed by blinded neuroradiologists. Studied features were maximum sac diameter, location, size, ellipsoid volume, aspect ratio, size ratio, volume: neck ratio, dome: neck ratio, bottleneck factor, morphology (saccular, fusiform/dissecting, blister, mycotic), and presence of bleb, vasculopathy, or additional unruptured IA. Results: Of 139/160 patients with aSAH, 23/139 (16.5%) were Utox MA+. There was no difference in aneurysm subtype frequency, presence of bleb, vasculopathy, or presence of an additional (unruptured) aneurysm with a trend toward posterior circulation location and higher Hunt and Hess grade (P = 0.09 for both) in the MA+ group. Maximum IA sac diameter, ellipsoid volume, dome-neck ratio, and size ratio were similar between groups. Only the aspect ratio (AR) differed between groups (MA+ = 2.20 vs. MA− = 1.74, P = 0.02). The AR remained a significant predictor of Utox MA+ in a multiple logistic regression analysis (odds ratio 1.87, 95% confidence interval 1.06−3.39). Conclusions: Active use of methamphetamine is independently associated with larger AR in patients with ruptured IA. This may indicate hazardous remodeling due to hemodynamic and/or inflammatory changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e509-e517
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Aneurysm
  • Aneurysm morphology
  • Methamphetamine
  • Stimulant
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Urine toxicology


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