Object: The introduction of the Neuroform microstent has facilitated the embolization of complex cerebral aneurysms, which were previously not amenable to endovascular therapy. Typically, the use of this stent necessitates the administration of dual antiplatelet therapy to minimize thromboembolic complications. Such therapy may increase the risk of hemorrhage in patients who require concurrent external ventricular drainage and/or subsequent permanent cerebrospinal fluid diversion.
Methods: The authors' neurosurgical database was queried for all patients who underwent stent-assisted coil embolization for cerebral aneurysms and who required an external ventricular drain (EVD) or ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt placement for management of hydrocephalus.
Results: Thirty-seven patients underwent stent-assisted coil embolization for intracranial aneurysms at the authors' institution over a recent 2-year period. Seven of these patients required placement of an EVD and/or a VP shunt. Three of the 7 patients suffered an immediate intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) associated with placement or manipulation of an EVD; 1 experienced a delayed intraparenchymal hemorrhage and an IVH; 1 suffered an aneurysmal rehemorrhage; and the last patient had a subdural hematoma (SDH) that resulted from placement of a VP shunt. This patient required drainage of the SDH and exchange of the valve.
Conclusions: The necessity of dual antiplatelet therapy in the use of stent-assisted coil embolization increases the risk of intracranial hemorrhage and possibly rebleeding from a ruptured aneurysm. This heightened risk must be recognized when contemplating the appropriate therapy for a cerebral aneurysm and when considering the placement or manipulation of a ventricular catheter in a patient receiving dual antiplatelet therapy. Further study of intracranial procedures in patients receiving dual antiplatelet therapy is indicated.