Variations in Cerebral Aneurysm Treatments Raise Alarm

Brain Aneurysm Tx: Too Much Practice Variation?
Brain Aneurysm Tx: Too Much Practice Variation?
The varying rates of open versus cather-based treatment of brain aneurysms raise questions about patient education.

The rate of open versus catheter-based treatment for cerebral aneurysms varies largely across the country, according to a report suggesting unwarranted practice variation. 

The rates of endovascular coiling for unruptured aneurysms among Medicare beneficiaries ranged from a low of 35% in Modesto, Calif. to a high of 98.6% in Tacoma, Wash., Kimon Bekelis, MD, of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH., and colleagues found.

While some variation in practice is expected, Bekelis called the level seen in the data “excessive.”

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