Objective: To test the hypothesis that coating platinum coils with transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) would improve the cellular proliferation within experimental aneurysms relative to uncoated coils.
Materials and methods: Elastase-induced saccular aneurysms were created in 12 New Zealand White rabbits. These aneurysms were embolized with platinum coils, either "control" (unmodified) coils or "test" (coated with TGFbeta) coils. Subjects were killed either 2 weeks (n = 3, control; n = 3, test) or 6 weeks (n = 3, control; n = 3, test) after embolization. Aneurysm tissue was embedded in plastic, sectioned, and stained with hematoxylin and eosin. The thickness of tissue covering the coils at the coil-lumen interface was measured by use of a digital microscope, and was compared between groups by use of the Student's t test (P < or = 0.05).
Results: Two-week implantation samples demonstrated mean thickness of tissue overlying TGFbeta-coated coils of 36+/-15 microm and mean thickness of overlying control coils of 3+/-5 microm, indicating significantly thicker tissue growth covering test versus control coils (P = 0.02). Six-week implantation samples demonstrated mean thickness of tissue overlying TGFbeta-coated coils of 86+/-74 microm versus mean thickness overlying control coils of 37+/-6 mu; this difference did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.30). Thickness of tissue covering TGFbeta-coated coils did not change significantly from 2 to 6 weeks (P = 0.31). Tissue thickness over control coils increased significantly between 2 and 6 weeks (P = 0.002).
Conclusion: TGFbeta-coated platinum coils undergo earlier cellular coverage than standard platinum coils, but differences in coverage between coated and control coils are no longer present at later time points. These data suggest that improvements in intra-aneurysmal cellular proliferation resulting from coil modifications, although significant in the early postembolization phase, may dissipate over time.