Background: The flow-diverting stent is a new option in endovascular therapy specifically designed for the endovascular reconstruction of a segmentally diseased artery. The safety of flow-diverting stents is still equivocal.
Objective: To evaluate the technical aspects, thromboembolic events, adjunctive therapies, and midterm results in patients with complex intracranial aneurysms treated with a flow-diverting stent (Silk; Balt Extrusion, Montmorency, France).
Methods: We retrospectively examined angiographic images and clinical reports of 24 consecutive patients (29 stents) treated (n = 23) or attempted to treat (n = 1) with a flow-diverting device in 2 Finnish centers between March 2009 and October 2010.
Results: The primary technical success rate was 67% (16/24). Adjunctive therapies were required in 6 (25%) patients, including 4 cases where intra-arterial abciximab was administered for the treatment of intraprocedural thromboembolic events. Technique-related complication rate and the 30-day mortality rate were each 4% (1/24). Follow-up imaging revealed 1 case of delayed in-stent thrombosis resulting in permanent disability of the patient, 1 asymptomatic occlusion, and 1 asymptomatic stenosis of the stented artery. Complete occlusion of the aneurysm with fully patent parent artery was observed in 16 of the 23 aneurysms (70%) where follow-up images were available.
Conclusion: Many previously untreatable cerebral aneurysms may be successfully treated with the Silk flow-diverting stent, but the associated risk of thromboembolic events is justifiable only if conventional endovascular or surgical treatment options are not applicable. Perioperative thromboembolic events should be prepared for and treated without unnecessary delays because they frequently respond to adjunctive medical therapy.