Bioabsorbable polymeric material coils for embolization of intracranial aneurysms: a preliminary experimental study

J Neurosurg. 2001 Mar;94(3):454-63. doi: 10.3171/jns.2001.94.3.0454.


Object: A new embolic agent, bioabsorbable polymeric material (BPM), was incorporated into Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs) to improve long-term anatomical results in the endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms. The authors investigated whether BPM-mounted GDCs (BPM/GDCs) accelerated the histopathological transformation of unorganized blood clot into fibrous connective tissue in experimental aneurysms created in swine.

Methods: Twenty-four experimental aneurysms were created in 12 swine. In each animal, one aneurysm was embolized using BPM/GDCs and the other aneurysm was embolized using standard GDCs. Comparative angiographic and histopathological data were analyzed at 2 weeks and 3 months postembolization. At 14 days postembolization, angiograms revealed evidence of neck neointima in six of eight aneurysms treated with BPM/GDCs compared with zero of eight aneurysms treated with standard GDCs (p < 0.05). At 3 months postembolization, angiograms demonstrated that four of four aneurysms treated with BPM/GDC were smaller and had neck neointima compared with zero of four aneurysms treated with standard GDCs (p = 0.05). At 14 days, histological analysis of aneurysm healing favored BPM/GDC treatment (all p < 0.05): the grade of cellular reaction around the coils was 3 +/- 0.9 (mean +/- standard deviation) for aneurysms treated using BPM/GDCs compared with 1.6 +/- 0.7 for aneurysms treated using GDCs alone; the percentage of unorganized thrombus was 16 +/- 12% compared with 37 +/- 15%, and the neck neointima thickness was 0.65 +/- 0.26 mm compared with 0.24 +/- 0.21 mm, respectively. At 3 months postembolization, only neck neointima thickness was significantly different (p < 0.05): 0.73 +/- 0.37 mm in aneurysms filled with BPM/GDCs compared with 0.16 +/- 0.14 mm in aneurysms filled with standard GDCs.

Conclusions: In experimental aneurysms in swine, BPM/GDCs accelerated aneurysm fibrosis and intensified neck neointima formation without causing parent artery stenosis or thrombosis. The use of BPM/GDCs may improve long-term anatomical outcomes by decreasing aneurysm recanalization due to stronger in situ anchoring of coils by organized fibrous tissue. The retraction of this scar tissue may also decrease the size of aneurysms and clinical manifestations of mass effect observed in large or giant aneurysms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorbable Implants*
  • Animals
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / instrumentation*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods
  • Female
  • Fibrosis
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / pathology
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Intracranial Thrombosis / pathology
  • Male
  • Materials Testing
  • Platinum
  • Swine


  • Platinum