Pipeline Treatment of Intracranial Aneurysms Is Safe and Effective in Patients with Cutaneous Metal Allergy

World Neurosurg. 2019 Mar;123:e180-e185. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2018.11.115. Epub 2018 Nov 23.


Background: The Pipeline embolization device (PED) has expanded the range of aneurysms amenable to endovascular treatment, including some that were previously untreatable. The PED contains several metals, including nickel, cobalt, chromium, platinum, and tungsten. The safety of PED implantation in patients with cutaneous metal allergy is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess clinical and angiographic outcomes of PED treatment in patients with cutaneous metal allergy.

Methods: A single-institution neurointerventional database was retrospectively reviewed for patients with documented cutaneous metal allergy who were treated with the PED. Patient, aneurysm, and procedural data were collected, including perioperative and delayed complications. Posttreatment angiograms were reviewed for in-Pipeline stenosis and aneurysm occlusion.

Results: Twenty patients with metal allergy underwent 23 PED treatments for 26 aneurysms. The cohort was 95% (19/20) female; mean age was 55.7 years. Aneurysms were primarily anterior circulation (92%, 24/26) and saccular (92%; 24/26); mean size was 8.8 mm (range, 2-32 mm). One PED was implanted in 70% (14/20) of patients, 25% (5/20) had 2 devices placed, and 1 patient had 3 devices. One major procedural complication occurred (4.3%, 1/23) in which a stroke was caused by perioperative PED thrombosis. Angiographic follow-up was available for all patients (mean duration 15.7 months; range, 6-64 months), which demonstrated a complete aneurysm occlusion rate of 88% (23/26). Asymptomatic in-Pipeline stenosis occurred in 2 cases, resulting in 65% and 50% parent artery stenosis, respectively.

Conclusions: Preliminary results suggest that PED implantation in patients with cutaneous metal allergy is safe and effective.

Keywords: Aneurysm; Flow diverter; Hemorrhage; Pipeline; Stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dermatitis / complications*
  • Dermatitis / immunology*
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / adverse effects
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / instrumentation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / complications*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / complications
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Male
  • Metals / adverse effects
  • Metals / immunology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Safety
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Metals