OBJECTIVE Flow diversion has emerged as a viable treatment option for selected intracranial aneurysms and recently has been gaining traction. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of flow-diverter devices (FDDs) over a long-term follow-up period. METHODS The authors retrospectively reviewed all cerebral aneurysm cases that had been admitted to the Division of Neurosurgery of the Università degli Studi di Napoli between November 2008 and November 2015 and treated with an FDD. The records of 60 patients (48 females and 12 males) harboring 69 cerebral aneurysms were analyzed. The study end points were angiographic evidence of complete aneurysm occlusion, recanalization rate, occlusion of the parent artery, and clinical and radiological evidence of brain ischemia. The occlusion rate was evaluated according to the O'Kelly-Marotta (OKM) Scale for flow diversion, based on the degree of filling (A, total filling; B, subtotal filling; C, entry remnant; D, no filling). Postprocedural, midterm, and long-term results were strictly analyzed. RESULTS Complete occlusion (OKM D) was achieved in 63 (91%) of 69 aneurysms, partial occlusion (OKM C) in 4 (6%), occlusion of the parent artery in 2 (3%). Intraprocedural technical complications occurred in 3 patients (5%). Postprocedural complications occurred in 6 patients (10%), without neurological deficits. At the 12-month follow-up, 3 patients (5%) experienced asymptomatic cerebral infarction. No further complications were observed at later follow-up evaluations (> 24 months). There were no reports of any delayed aneurysm rupture, subarachnoid or intraparenchymal hemorrhage, ischemic complications, or procedure- or device-related deaths. CONCLUSIONS Endovascular treatment with an FDD is a safe treatment for unruptured cerebral aneurysms, resulting in a high rate of occlusion. In the present study, the authors observed effective and stable aneurysm occlusion, even at the long-term follow-up. Data in this study also suggest that ischemic complications can occur at a later stage, particularly at 12-18 months. On the other hand, no other ischemic or hemorrhagic complications occurred beyond 24 months.
Keywords: ACA = anterior cerebral artery; CTA = CT angiography; DSA = digital subtraction angiography; FDD = flow-diverter device; ICA = internal carotid artery; MCA = middle cerebral artery; MRA = MR angiography; OKM = O’Kelly-Marotta; PAO = parent artery occlusion; PCoA = posterior communicating artery; PED = Pipeline embolization device; PICA = posterior inferior cerebellar artery; Pipeline embolization device; SAH = subarachnoid hemorrhage; SCA = superior cerebellar artery; endovascular treatment; flow-diverter devices; flow-redirection endoluminal device; intracranial aneurysm; mRS = modified Rankin Scale; p64 flow-modulation device.