Objective and importance: Coil stretching represents a potentially hazardous technical complication not infrequently encountered during the embolization of cerebral aneurysms. Often, the stretched coil cannot be advanced into the aneurysm or withdrawn intact. The operator is then forced to attempt to retract the damaged coil, which may result in coil breakage, leaving behind a significant length of potentially thrombogenic stretched coil material within the parent vessel. To overcome this problem, we devised a technique to snare the distal, unstretched, intact portion of the platinum coil by use of the indwelling microcatheter and stretched portion of the coil as a monorail guide.
Clinical presentation: We have used this technique successfully in four patients to snare coils stretched during cerebral aneurysm embolization. Three of these patients were undergoing Neuroform (Boston Scientific/Target, Fremont, CA) stent-supported coil embolization of unruptured aneurysms. In all cases, the snare was advanced easily to the targeted site for coil engagement by use of the microcatheter as a monorail guide. Once the intact distal segment of the coil was ensnared, coil removal was uneventful, with no disturbance of the remainder of the indwelling coil pack or Neuroform stent.
Technique: A 2-mm Amplatz Goose Neck microsnare (Microvena Corp., White Bear Lake, MN) was placed through a Prowler-14 microcatheter (Cordis Corp., Miami, FL). The hub of the indwelling SL-10 microcatheter (Boston Scientific, Natick, MA) was then cut away with a scalpel, leaving the coil pusher wire intact, and removed. The open 2-mm snare was then advanced over the outside of the coil pusher wire and microcatheter. The snare and Prowler-14 microcatheter were then advanced into the guiding catheter (6- or 7-French) as a unit over the indwelling SL-10 microcatheter. By use of the SL-10 microcatheter and coil as a "monorail" guide, the snare was advanced over and beyond the microcatheter and the stretched portion of the coil until the snare was in position to engage the distal unstretched coil. At this point, the snare was then closed around the intact portion of the coil, and the microcatheters, snare, and coil were removed as a unit.
Conclusion: The monorail snare technique represents a fast, safe, and easy method by which a stretched coil can be removed.