Risk of Aneurysm Rupture (ROAR) study: protocol for a long-term, longitudinal, UK multicentre study of unruptured intracranial aneurysms
Hall S., Birks J., Anderson I., Bacon A., Brennan PM., Bennett D., Chavredakis E., Critchley G., Dow G., Downer J., Galea J., Grover P., Gurusinghe N., Helmy A., Kounin G., Mukerji N., Patel H., Patel J., Ross N., St George J., Teo M., Tolias CM., Tzerakis N., Uff C., van Beijum J., Veighey K., White E., Whitfield P., Bulters DO.
IntroductionUnruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIA) are common in the adult population, but only a relatively small proportion will rupture. It is therefore essential to have accurate estimates of rupture risk to target treatment towards those who stand to benefit and avoid exposing patients to the risks of unnecessary treatment. The best available UIA natural history data are the PHASES study. However, this has never been validated and given the known heterogeneity in the populations, methods and biases of the constituent studies, there is a need to do so. There are also many potential predictors not considered in PHASES that require evaluation, and the estimated rupture risk is largely based on short-term follow-up (mostly 1 year). The aims of this study are to: (1) test the accuracy of PHASES in a UK population, (2) evaluate additional predictors of rupture and (3) assess long-term UIA rupture rates.Methods and analysisThe Risk of Aneurysm Rupture study is a longitudinal multicentre study that will identify patients with known UIA seen in neurosurgery units. Patients will have baseline demographics and aneurysm characteristics collected by their neurosurgery unit and then a single aggregated national cohort will be linked to databases of hospital admissions and deaths to identify all patients who may have subsequently suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage. All matched admissions and deaths will be checked against medical records to confirm the diagnosis of aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage. The target sample size is 20 000 patients. The primary outcome will be aneurysm rupture resulting in hospital admission or death. Cox regression models will be built to test each of the study’s aims.Ethics and disseminationEthical approval has been given by South Central Hampshire A Research Ethics Committee (21SC0064) and Confidentiality Advisory Group support (21CAG0033) provided under Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006. The results will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals.Trial registration numberISRCTN17658526.