Are the configuration and neck morphology of experimental aneurysms predictable? A technical approach

Neuroradiology. 2004 Jul;46(7):571-6. doi: 10.1007/s00234-004-1218-y. Epub 2004 May 15.


Aneurysm configuration and neck morphology are important factors in the decision for cerebral aneurysm therapy, i.e., clipping versus coiling. The aim of our study was to create various aneurysm configurations in a predictable and reproducible way in an animal model. In our recently proposed endovascular approach to produce bifurcation aneurysms in the rabbit, the right common carotid artery (CCA) is surgically exposed and distally ligated, and a sheath is advanced retrogradely into the CCA, the base of which is proximally occluded using a Fogarty balloon. Subsequently, elastase is injected via a microcatheter that is placed directly distal to the balloon and allowed to incubate for 20 min. After removal of the sheath, saccular aneurysms begin to form within 2 weeks. For greater variability in aneurysm size and neck morphology, we modified two parameters of this formerly established elastase-induced aneurysm model--the distance between the balloon and sheath and the level of balloon position--before the elastase was endoluminally incubated in 15 rabbits. Three weeks after aneurysm induction, the size and configuration of the aneurysms were controlled using DSA. Our results confirm that balloon occlusion in the brachiocephalic trunk results in broad-based aneurysms, whereas balloon occlusion in the CCA gives rise to circumscribed aneurysm necks. By increasing the distance between the balloon and sheath, the rabbits developed significantly larger aneurysms. The balloon-sheath distance and the level of balloon occlusion proved to be parameters whose modifications result in predictable and reproducible aneurysm variants that can be used for the testing of endovascular devices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Balloon Occlusion
  • Brachiocephalic Trunk
  • Carotid Artery, Common / surgery
  • Female
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / etiology
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / pathology*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy
  • Ligation
  • Pancreatic Elastase
  • Rabbits
  • Time Factors


  • Pancreatic Elastase