Frequency of thromboembolic events associated with endovascular aneurysm treatment: retrospective case series

J Neurosurg. 2008 Jun;108(6):1095-100. doi: 10.3171/JNS/2008/108/6/1095.


Object: There is little evidence addressing whether procedures requiring adjunctive devices lead to an increased frequency of thromboembolic complications. The authors report their experience with 155 aneurysms treated with and without adjunctive devices.

Methods: The authors retrospectively reviewed their last 155 aneurysm coil placement procedures. The patients' records were reviewed for the following phenomena: 1) evidence of procedure-related thrombus formation; 2) clinical evidence of stroke; and 3) the presence of acute ischemia in the treated vascular territory on diffusion-weighted (DW) imaging.

Results: Of the 155 aneurysms treated in 132 patients, 66 were treated with coils only, 45 had stent-assisted coil placement, 33 underwent balloon remodeling, and in 11 stents were placed after balloon remodeling. Small DW imaging abnormalities were present in the treated vascular territory in 24% of cases (37 lesions). Specifically, 21 (32%) of 66 lesions in the coil-treated group, 6 (13%) of 45 in the stent-assisted coil treatment group, 8 (24%) of 33 in the balloon remodeling group, and 2 (18%) of 11 in the balloon and stent group showed DW imaging positivity. Furthermore, 25 (68%) of the 37 cases that were positive on DW imaging occurred in patients presenting with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Clinically evident stroke or transient ischemic attack was present in 10 (27%) of 37 cases, with 70% occurring in patients presenting with SAH.

Conclusions: Use of adjunctive devices in treating aneurysms does not appear to increase the frequency of embolic or ischemic events. The presence of DW imaging abnormalities and clinically evident stroke was actually less frequent when adjunctive devices were used and in electively treated cases. This was probably related to perioperative antiplatelet medical management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Angioplasty / adverse effects*
  • Angioplasty / instrumentation
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / adverse effects*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / instrumentation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stents / adverse effects
  • Stroke / diagnosis
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Stroke / therapy
  • Thromboembolism / diagnosis
  • Thromboembolism / epidemiology*
  • Thromboembolism / therapy