Object. The authors present a retrospective analysis of their clinical experience in the endovascular treatment of basilar artery (BA) trunk aneurysms with Guglielmi detachable coils (GDCs).
Methods. Between April 1990 and June 1999, 41 BA trunk aneurysms were treated in 39 patients by inserting GDCs. Twenty-seven patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage, six had intracranial mass effect, and in six patients the aneurysms were found incidentally. Eighteen lesions were BA trunk aneurysms, 13 were BA—superior cerebellar artery aneurysms, four were BA—anterior inferior cerebellar artery aneurysms, and six were vertebrobasilar junction aneurysms. Thirty-five patients (89.7%) had excellent or good clinical outcomes; procedural morbidity and mortality rates were 2.6% each. Thirty-six aneurysms were selectively occluded while preserving the parent artery, and in five cases the parent artery was occluded along with the aneurysm. Immediate angiographic studies revealed complete or nearly complete occlusion in 35 aneurysms (85.4%). Follow-up angiograms were obtained in 29 patients with 31 aneurysms; the mean follow-up period was 17 months. No recanalization was observed in the eight completely occluded aneurysms. In 19 lesions with small neck remnants, seven (36.8%) had further thrombosis, three (15.8%) remained anatomically unchanged, and nine (47.3%) had recanalization caused by coil compaction. In one patient (2.6%) the aneurysm rebled 8 years after the initial embolization.
Conclusions. In this clinical series the authors show that the GDC placement procedure is valuable in the therapeutic management of BA trunk aneurysms. The endovascular catheterization of these lesions tends to be relatively simple, in contrast with more complex neurosurgical approaches. Endosaccular obliteration of these aneurysms also decreases the possibility of unwanted occlusion of perforating arteries to the brainstem.