Early major recurrence of cerebral aneurysms after satisfactory initial coiling

Interv Neuroradiol. 2021 Apr;27(2):172-180. doi: 10.1177/1591019920968370. Epub 2020 Oct 20.


Background and purpose: Early major recurrence (EMR) of cerebral aneurysms treated by coiling has not been investigated. The purpose of this study is to characterize the frequency and risk factors of this phenomenon.

Materials and methods: A retrospective review was performed of consecutive patients who presented with ruptured and unruptured cerebral aneurysms and underwent coiling from July 2009 to June 2019 at a university hospital. We defined EMR as recurrence of the aneurysm greater than its initial size within the first 6 months of an initial satisfactory coil embolization. Patient demographics, clinical information, aneurysm characteristics, angiographic and technical details were reviewed.

Results: From July 2009 to June 2019, 338 aneurysms (190 unruptured aneurysms and 148 ruptured cerebral aneurysms) underwent coiling and satisfied our study criteria. Among these patients, 23 patients (19 ruptured and 4 unruptured aneurysms) were found to have recurrent aneurysm. Of those, 4 were found to have early major aneurysm regrowth occurring within 6 months after coiling (1.2%). The detection of the EMR was as early as 4 weeks and as late as 20 weeks after the initial coil embolization. The average detection time was 10 ± 7.2 weeks (mean ± SD, range:4-20 weeks). In each case, the recurrent aneurysm cavity was more than twice the initial size of presentation. All aneurysms with major recurrence were ruptured with low aspect ratios (dome height to neck ratio) and involved a communicating segment. All patients underwent successful retreatment of the recurrent aneurysm with good outcome.

Conclusions: Early major recurrence of treated aneurysms is a rare but important complication that harbors an impending risk of re-rupture. Early control angiography after endovascular coiling may be warranted for small ruptured aneurysms, even in cases in which the initial result seems technically satisfactory.

Keywords: Recurrence; endovascular coiling; ruptured aneurysm; subarachnoid hemorrhage.

MeSH terms

  • Aneurysm, Ruptured* / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured* / therapy
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Embolization, Therapeutic*
  • Endovascular Procedures*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm* / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Aneurysm* / therapy
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome