Objective and importance: This case report details the unexpected surgical difficulty encountered in treating a recurrent aneurysm after coil embolization and presents the histological findings of the resected aneurysm. This is only the second reported case of histological description of an aneurysm after coil embolization in a human.
Clinical presentation: A 60-year-old woman experienced a 3-month history of chronic headache. Neuroimaging studies demonstrated a 2-cm anterior communicating artery aneurysm. The aneurysm was treated with a two-stage endovascular coil embolization, resulting in almost complete occlusion of the aneurysm. A cerebral angiogram at 6-month follow-up demonstrated slight refilling of the aneurysm, and angiography at 18 months showed a marked increase in the size of the small remnant. Therefore, the patient was referred for direct surgical repair of the aneurysm.
Intervention: The distal aneurysm dome, which had been packed with the coils and thrombus, was resected under temporary arterial trapping. An intra-aneurysmal endarterectomy was required, because the aneurysm wall developed intimal dissection that extended to the orifices of afferent and efferent arteries. The aneurysm was then obliterated with multiple clips, reconstructing the patent vessel lumen. However, the patient awoke from surgery with left hemiparesis. A postoperative angiogram disclosed occlusion of the right anterior cerebral artery. An histological study of the thrombosed aneurysm showed that the luminal surface of thrombus was not lined by endothelium.
Conclusion: This case demonstrated not only the limited efficacy of coil embolization treatment for wide-necked aneurysms but also the potential difficulty in the direct surgical repair for such recurrent aneurysms.