Preliminary Experience with Cangrelor for Endovascular Treatment of Challenging Intracranial Aneurysms

Clin Neuroradiol. 2020 Sep;30(3):453-461. doi: 10.1007/s00062-019-00811-2. Epub 2019 Jul 15.


Background and purpose: Cangrelor is a P2Y12 inhibitor that presents the advantage of having a short half-life. Its use may be helpful in the management of antiplatelet therapy for patients with intracranial aneurysms treated by stent-assisted coiling or flow-diverter stents. The purpose of this study was to report early experiences in using cangrelor for such indications.

Material and methods: From October 2017 to November 2018, 7 consecutive patients (5 females, 2 males, mean age = 56 years) were managed with cangrelor as antiplatelet therapy, combined with aspirin, for stent-assisted coiling embolization and flow-diverter embolization of challenging intracranial aneurysms. Anti-aggregation protocols, including cangrelor, were systematically recorded. Treatment-related complications (minor/major hemorrhagic complications, ischemic complications) as well as clinical and angiographic outcomes (evaluated at 8.7 ± 4.2 and 8.75 ± 10 months, respectively) were retrospectively analyzed.

Results: Of the aneurysms 71.4% (5 out of 7) were ruptured and treated in the acute phase. In one case cangrelor was used as an alternative to clopidogrel in an asymptomatic hemorrhagic complication after stent-assisted coiling for better control of a possible worsening of the intracranial bleeding. Of the patients, 1 (14%) with a complex ruptured MCA aneurysm treated with a flow-diverter stent experienced a severe intracranial hemorrhage, which occurred after switching the cangrelor to ticagrelor and eventually led to death. No hemorrhagic complications under cangrelor were recorded for the six remaining patients. No mRS worsening was observed at discharge, except for the patient who died and six out of the seven patients had a mRS ≤2 at follow-up.

Conclusion: Cangrelor is a new antiplatelet therapy with a P2Y12 inhibiting effect, with a rapid onset and offset of action, owing to its short half-life. This cases series presents a pilot experience with promising results in terms of antiplatelet management for challenging intracranial aneurysms treated by stent assisted coiling or flow-diverter stents.

Keywords: Antiaggregation platelet therapy; Cangrelor; Flow diversion; Hemorrhagic complication; Stent-assisted coiling.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Monophosphate / analogs & derivatives*
  • Adenosine Monophosphate / therapeutic use
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / therapy*
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Purinergic P2Y Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Stents


  • Purinergic P2Y Receptor Antagonists
  • Adenosine Monophosphate
  • cangrelor
  • Aspirin