Treatment of intracranial aneurysms using the pipeline flex embolization device with shield technology: angiographic and safety outcomes at 1-year follow-up

J Neurointerv Surg. 2019 Apr;11(4):396-399. doi: 10.1136/neurintsurg-2018-014204. Epub 2018 Sep 27.


Purpose: The Pipeline Embolization Device (PED) is a routine first-line treatment option for intracranial aneurysms (IAs). The Pipeline Flex Embolization Device with Shield Technology (Pipeline Shield) is an updated version of the PED which has been modified to include a surface phosphorylcholine biocompatible polymer. Its early technical success and safety have been reported previously. Here, we assessed the long-term safety and efficacy of the Pipeline Shield for the treatment of IAs.

Materials and methods: The Pipeline Flex Embolization Device with Shield Technology (PFLEX) study was a prospective, single-arm, multicenter study for the treatment of unruptured IAs using the Pipeline Shield. The primary endpoint was a major stroke in the territory supplied by the treated artery or neurologic death at 1-year post-procedure. Angiographic outcomes were also assessed by an independent radiology laboratory at 6 months and 1 year.

Results: Fifty patients (mean age, 53 years; 82% female) with 50 unruptured IAs were treated. Mean aneurysm diameter was 8.82±6.15 mm. Of the target aneurysms, 38/50 (76%) were small (<10 mm), 11/50 (22%) were large (≥10 and<25 mm), and 1/50 (2%) was giant (≥25 mm). Forty-seven (94%) were located in the internal carotid artery and three (6%) in the vertebral artery. At 1-year post-procedure, no major strokes or neurologic deaths were reported, and complete occlusion was achieved in 27/33 (81.8%). There were no instances of aneurysm recurrence or retreatment.

Conclusions: Our 1-year follow-up concerning angiographic and safety outcomes corroborate previous evidence that the Pipeline Shield is a safe and effective treatment for IAs.

Trial registration number: NCT02390037.

Keywords: intracranial aneurysm; phosphorylcholine; pipeline embolization device.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis / adverse effects
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis / trends
  • Cerebral Angiography / adverse effects
  • Cerebral Angiography / trends*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / adverse effects
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / instrumentation*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / trends*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Retreatment / trends
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data