Follow-up of intracranial aneurysms treated with detachable coils: comparison of plain radiographs, 3D time-of-flight MRA and digital subtraction angiography

Neuroradiology. 2003 Nov;45(11):818-24. doi: 10.1007/s00234-003-1109-7. Epub 2003 Oct 8.


All patients with aneurysms treated with Guglielmi detachable coils (GDC) are undergo angiography to assess long-term stability of aneurysm exclusion or to show recurrence of the aneurysm sac, which may require further treatment. We prospectively compared the plain-film appearance of the coil-mass, 3D time-of-flight MR angiography (TOF MRA) and digital subtraction angiography (DSA) for the detection of aneurysm recanalisation during follow-up. We studied 60 patients with 74 intracranial aneurysms treated with Guglielmi detachable coils. We used the unsubtracted image of the angiograms performed at the completion of any embolisation procedure and at follow-up as the plain radiographs. Recanalisation was considered if loosening, compaction or reorientation of the coil mass was apparent. TOF MRA was performed to assess the presence and size of a neck remnant. DSA was regarded as the definitive investigation. Comparison of the techniques showed good agreement as regards aneurysm recanalisation. MRA was more accurate than plain radiography and could replace DSA for long term follow- up. The initial follow-up examination should, however, include both modalities. In cases of contraindications or limitations to MRA, the interval between follow-up angiographic examinations could be increased if there is no change in the plain-film coil-mass appearances.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiography, Digital Subtraction
  • Embolization, Therapeutic* / instrumentation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnosis
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors