The protocol for antiplatelet therapy after stent-assisted coil embolization (SACE) for intracranial aneurysms is not well established. In particular, the indications for single antiplatelet therapy (SAPT) discontinuation remain controversial. The authors investigated the long-term outcomes of SAPT discontinuation after SACE among patients at a single institution.
Patients who underwent SACE during the period from 2010 to 2020 and who were followed up for > 1 year were included in this study. The delayed ischemic and hemorrhagic complication rates were examined during follow-up. Moreover, the risk factors of antiplatelet therapy reduction or discontinuation and the outcomes of SAPT discontinuation were examined.
In total, 240 patients were included in the analysis. The average patient age was 60.3 years, and the average follow-up period was 46.7 months. Nine (3.8%) patients presented with symptomatic delayed ischemic complication, and 3 (1.3%) patients experienced a decline in modified Rankin Scale score. The stent configuration (T- or Y-stent) was the only risk factor associated with delayed ischemic complication (p < 0.001). SAPT was discontinued in 147 (71.7%) of 205 patients who were followed up for > 2 years, and no ischemic complications were observed.
It is safe to discontinue SAPT in patients without ischemic complications and with stable intraaneurysmal signals on MRA 2 years after SACE. The T- or Y-stent is a high-risk factor for delayed ischemic complications, and antiplatelet therapy reduction or discontinuation should be cautiously considered.