Selection of cerebral aneurysms for treatment using Guglielmi detachable coils: the preliminary University of Illinois at Chicago experience

Neurosurgery. 1998 Dec;43(6):1281-95; discussion 1296-7. doi: 10.1097/00006123-199812000-00011.


Objective: We present our initial experience with Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs). The aim of this study was to determine the criteria for aneurysms, ruptured or unruptured, that are suitable for this technique. The importance of aneurysm geometry and its impact on the final results are discussed.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of 329 patients with 339 cerebral aneurysms that were treated at the University of Illinois Hospital at Chicago from May 1994 to June 1997 was conducted. One hundred eighty-five patients were treated surgically, and 144 were selected for treatment using GDCs. Of the 144 patients selected for GDC treatment, 55 patients with 55 aneurysms were admitted during the acute phase of subarachnoid hemorrhage and 89 patients with 97 aneurysms had nonruptured aneurysms or were treated after clinical recovery of previously ruptured aneurysms. All procedures were performed with the patients under general anesthesia and with systemic heparinization using live simultaneous biplane roadmapping, with the exception of the first four patients. These patients were treated before the installation of the biplane system. The percentage of aneurysm occlusion was determined at the end of each procedure. Follow-up angiography was scheduled to be performed at 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years after treatment.

Patient selection: For the initial 25 patients (Group 1), selection for coiling was restricted to nonsurgical candidates or patients in whom coiling was thought to be the best treatment choice, based on medical condition and location of the aneurysm. The geometry of the aneurysm was not considered to be an important factor in the selection for coiling. The remaining patients (Group 2) were selected for coiling based on aneurysm geometry, as determined by pretherapeutic angiography. Aneurysms that were considered to be favorable for coiling included those that had a dome-to-neck ratio of at least 2 and an absolute neck diameter less than 5 mm.

Results: The initial 25 patients (Group 1) were treated from May 1994 to February 1995. There were high morbidity and mortality rates, with 56% of the treated aneurysms occluded at 6 months. The remaining patients (Group 2) consisted of 119 patients with 123 aneurysms. There was no mortality directly related to the coiling procedure, and permanent morbidity was limited to 1.0%. Three patients (2.5%) developed transient neurological deficits secondary to the procedure, and seven patients (5.8%) experienced periprocedural complications that did not result in neurological sequelae. The morphological results were strongly correlated to the geometry of the aneurysms, with a complete occlusion rate of 72% among the acutely ruptured aneurysms and 80% among the nonacute aneurysms, when patients were selected for treatment based on the geometry of the aneurysms and the dome-to-neck ratio was at least 2. The occlusion rate dropped to 53% when selection was not based on aneurysm geometry and the dome-to-neck ratio was less than 2. A summary of the morphological outcomes for the Group 2 patients shows that 86% of the aneurysms that initially underwent coiling using GDCs were completely occluded (78% by coils alone, 3.0% in conjunction with surgery, and 5.0% with parent artery occlusion). Residual small neck remnants were present in 11% of the Group 2 aneurysms (3.0% were scheduled for surgical treatment of residual neck remnant growths not amenable to further endovascular treatment, and 8% were scheduled for initial 6-mo follow-up examinations). Death resulting from unrelated causes before initial follow-up occurred in 3.0% of the patients.

Conclusion: These preliminary results suggest that using GDCs is a safe technique resulting in low morbidity and mortality rates for the treatment of intracranial aneurysms in appropriately selected patients. The percentage of complete aneurysm occlusion is related to the density of coil packing, which is strongly dependent on the geometry of the aneurysm. Optim

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / complications
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / mortality
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / therapy
  • Chicago / epidemiology
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / adverse effects
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / complications
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / mortality
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rupture, Spontaneous
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Surgical Instruments
  • Treatment Outcome