Object: During a 5-year period 317 patients presenting with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage were successfully treated by coil embolization within 30 days of hemorrhage. The authors followed patients to assess the stability of aneurysm occlusion and its longer-term efficacy in protecting patients against rebleeding.
Methods: Patients were followed for 6 to 65 months (median 22.3 months) by clinical review, angiography performed at 6 months posttreatment, and annual questionnaires. Stable angiographic occlusion was evident in 86.4% of small and 85.2% of large aneurysms with recurrent filling in 38 (14.7%) of 259 aneurysms. Rebleeding was caused by aneurysm recurrence in four patients (between 11 and 35 months posttreatment) and by rupture of a coincidental untreated aneurysm in one patient. Annual rebleeding rates were 0.8% in the 1st year, 0.6% in the 2nd year, and 2.4% in the 3rd year after aneurysm embolization, with no rebleeding in subsequent years. Rebleeding occurred in three (7.9%) of 38 recurrent aneurysms and in one (0.4%) of 221 aneurysms that appeared stable on angiography.
Conclusions: Periodic follow-up angiography after coil embolization is recommended to identify aneurysm recurrence and those patients at a high risk of late rebleeding.