Purpose: Ruptured cerebral arterial aneurysms require prompt treatment by either surgical clipping or endovascular coiling. Training for these sophisticated endovascular procedures is essential and ideally performed in animals before their use in humans. Simulators and established animal models have shown drawbacks with respect to degree of reality, size of the animal model and aneurysm, or time and effort needed for aneurysm creation. We therefore aimed to establish a realistic and readily available aneurysm model.
Materials and methods: Five anticoagulated domestic pigs underwent endovascular intervention through right femoral access. A total of 12 broad-neck aneurysms were created in the carotid, subclavian, and renal arteries using the Amplatzer vascular plug.
Results: With dedicated vessel selection, cubic, tubular, and side-branch aneurysms could be created. Three of the 12 implanted occluders, two of them implanted over a side branch of the main vessel, did not induce complete vessel occlusion. However, all aneurysms remained free of intraluminal thrombus formation and were available for embolization training during a surveillance period of 6 h. Two aneurysms underwent successful exemplary treatment: one was stent-assisted, and one was performed with conventional endovascular coil embolization.
Conclusion: The new porcine aneurysm model proved to be a straightforward approach that offers a wide range of training and scientific applications that might help further improve endovascular coil embolization therapy in patients with cerebral aneurysms.