Object: The concept of the flow-diverter stent (FDS) is to induce aneurysmal thrombosis while preserving the patency of the parent vessel and any covered branches. In some circumstances, it is impossible to avoid dangerously covering small branches, such as the anterior choroidal artery (AChA), with the stent. In this paper, the authors describe the clinical and angiographic effects of covering the AChA with an FDS.
Methods: Between April 2011 and July 2013, 92 patients with intracranial aneurysms were treated with the use of FDSs in the authors' institution. For 20 consecutive patients (21.7%) retrospectively included in this study, this involved the unavoidable covering of the AChA with a single FDS during endovascular therapy. AChAs feeding the choroid plexus were classified as the long-course group (14 cases), and those not feeding the choroid plexus were classified as the short-course group (6 cases). Clinical symptoms and the angiographic aspect of the AChA were evaluated immediately after stent delivery and during follow-up. Neurological examinations were performed to rule out hemiparesis, hemihypesthesia, hemianopsia, and other cortical signs.
Results: FDS placement had no immediate effect on AChA blood flow. Data were obtained from 1-month clinical follow-up in all patients and from midterm angiographic follow-up in 17 patients (85.0%), with a mean length of 9.8 ± 5.4 months. No patient in either group complained of transient or permanent symptoms related to an AChA occlusion. In all cases, the AChA remained patent without any flow changes.
Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that when impossible to avoid, the AChA may be safely covered with a single FDS during intracranial aneurysm treatment, irrespective of anatomy and anastomoses.
Keywords: AChA = anterior choroidal artery; FDS = flow-diverter stent; ICA = internal carotid artery; MCA = middle cerebral artery; aneurysm; anterior choroidal artery; flow-diverter stent; vascular disorders.