Predictors of occlusion, long-term outcomes, and safety in a cohort of 674 aneurysms treated with the Pipeline embolization device

J Neurosurg. 2024 Jan 5:1-9. doi: 10.3171/2023.10.JNS231837. Online ahead of print.


Objective: By providing a more physiological approach to the treatment of intracranial aneurysms, the Pipeline embolization device (PED) has revolutionized the endovascular treatment of aneurysms. Although there are many flow diverters on the market, the authors report their experience with the PED, the first flow diverter to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. They aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of PED flow diversion for the treatment of a wide range of aneurysms, as well as to look at factors affecting occlusion.

Methods: This is a retrospective study of a prospectively maintained database of patients treated with the PED between January 2011 and December 2019. Charts were reviewed for patient, aneurysm, and procedure characteristics. The primary outcomes of interest were complication rates, occlusion outcomes (O'Kelly-Marotta grading scale), and functional outcomes (modified Rankin Scale [mRS]). Secondary outcomes included predictors of incomplete occlusion at 6 and 24 months of follow-up.

Results: The study cohort included 581 patients with 674 aneurysms. Most aneurysms (90.5%) were in the anterior circulation and had a saccular morphology (85.6%). Additionally, 638 aneurysms (94.7%) were unruptured, whereas 36 (5.3%) were acutely ruptured. The largest mean aneurysm diameter was 8.3 ± 6.1 mm. Complications occurred at a rate of 5.5% (n = 32). The complete occlusion rate was 89.3% at 24 months' follow-up, and 94.8% of patients had a favorable neurological outcome (mRS score 0-2) at the last follow-up. On multivariate analysis, predictors of incomplete aneurysm occlusion at 6 months were hypertension (OR 1.7, p = 0.03), previous aneurysm treatment (OR 2.4, p = 0.001), and increasing aneurysm neck diameter (OR 1.2, p = 0.02), whereas a saccular morphology was protective (OR 0.5, p = 0.05). Predictors of incomplete occlusion at 24 months were increasing aneurysm neck diameter (OR 1.2, p = 0.01) and previous aneurysm treatment (OR 2.3, p = 0.01).

Conclusions: The study findings are corroborated by those of previous studies and trials. The complete occlusion rate was 89.3% at 24 months' follow-up, with 94.8% of patients having favorable functional outcomes (mRS score 0-2). Aneurysm treatment before PED deployment and an increasing aneurysm neck diameter increase the risk of incomplete occlusion at 6 and 24 months.

Keywords: Pipeline embolization device; aneurysm; angiography; endovascular neurosurgery; flow diversion; vascular disorders.