Embolization of incidental cerebral aneurysms by using the Guglielmi detachable coil system

J Neurosurg. 1999 Feb;90(2):207-14. doi: 10.3171/jns.1999.90.2.0207.


Object: Guglielmi detachable coil (GDC) technology is a valuable therapeutic alternative to the surgical treatment of ruptured or incidental intracranial aneurysms. The authors describe their technical and clinical experience in the use of the GDC technique in patients who underwent endovascular occlusion for the treatment of incidentally found intracranial aneurysms.

Methods: One hundred fifteen patients with 120 incidentally found intracranial aneurysms underwent embolization by means of the GDC endovascular technique. Ninety-one patients were females and 24 were males. Patient age ranged from 13 to 80 years. In 64 patients the incidental aneurysms were discovered when unrelated nonneurological conditions signaled the need for angiography or magnetic resonance angiography (Group 1). Twenty patients who presented with incidental aneurysms that were discovered during treatment for an acutely ruptured aneurysm underwent treatment of both types of aneurysm during the acute phase of subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) (Group 2). Sixteen patients with incidental aneurysms were treated during the chronic phase of SAH (Group 3). Group 4 included 15 patients who had incidental aneurysms associated with brain tumors or arteriovenous malformations. Angiographic results revealed complete or near-complete occlusion in 109 aneurysms (91%) and incomplete occlusion in five aneurysms (4%). Guglielmi detachable coil embolization was attempted unsuccessfully in six aneurysms (5%). One hundred nine patients (94.8%) remained neurologically intact or unchanged from their initial clinical status. Five patients (4.3%) deteriorated as a result of immediate procedural complications. All these complications occurred in the first 50 patients treated in the series. No clinical complications were observed in the last 65 patients. In one patient, a partially embolized aneurysm ruptured 3 years postprocedure. In Groups 1 and 3, the average length of hospitalization was 3.3 days.

Conclusions: The evolution of GDC technology has proved to provide safe treatment of incidental aneurysms (a morbidity rate of 0% was achieved in the last 65 patients). The topography of the aneurysm and the clinical condition of the patient did not influence final anatomical or clinical outcomes. The GDC technology also confers a positive economic impact by decreasing hospital length of stay and by eliminating the need for postembolization intensive care.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / adverse effects
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / instrumentation
  • Embolization, Therapeutic / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy*
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Treatment Outcome