OBJECTIVE The Pipeline Embolization Device (PED) has become an effective treatment strategy for some cerebral aneurysms. Concerns regarding the patency of branch arteries have been raised. The objective of this study was to assess the patency of the posterior communicating artery (PCoA) following treatment of PCoA aneurysms using the PED. METHODS All patients with PCoA aneurysms treated with the PED who had angiographic follow-up were retrospectively identified. The patency of the PCoA at follow-up was evaluated by 2 authors who were not involved in the intervention. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify factors associated with the following: 1) PCoA patency versus no or diminished flow, and 2) PCoA patency and diminished flow versus PCoA occlusion. RESULTS Thirty patients with an angiographic follow-up of 6 months were included. Aneurysm obliteration was achieved in 25 patients (83.3%). The PCoA was patent in 7 patients (23.3%), had diminished flow in 7 patients (23.3%), and was occluded in 16 patients (53.3%). In the univariate analysis of outcome, there was a trend for aneurysms with incomplete occlusion, aneurysms not previously treated, those with presence of a fetal PCoA, and those with an artery coming from the aneurysm to have higher odds of the PCoA remaining patent. In univariate and multivariate analyses of factors associated with outcome, fetal PCoA and presence of an artery coming from the aneurysm were associated with the PCoA remaining open with or without diminished flow. No patients had symptoms related to PCoA occlusion. CONCLUSIONS Occlusion and diminished flow through the PCoA is common following PED treatment of PCoA aneurysms. However, it is clinically insignificant in most cases.
Keywords: ICA = internal carotid artery; MRA = MR angiography; PCoA = posterior communicating artery; PED = Pipeline Embolization Device; PRU = P2Y12 reaction units; Pipeline Embolization Device; SAH = subarachnoid hemorrhage; flow diversion; patency; posterior communicating artery; vascular disorders.