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Robert W. Ryan, Amir S. Khan, Rebecca Barco and Armen Choulakian


Ruptured blister aneurysms remain challenging lesions for treatment due to their broad, shallow anatomy and thin, fragile wall. Historical challenges with both open microsurgical approaches and intrasaccular endovascular approaches have led to increased use of flow diversion for management of these aneurysms. However, the optimum paradigm, including timing of treatment, use of dual antiplatelet therapy, and number of flow-diverter devices to use remains unknown. The authors describe their experience with ruptured blister aneurysms treated with flow diversion at their institution, and discuss rates of rebleeding and number of devices used.


All patients presenting with subarachnoid hemorrhage from a ruptured blister aneurysm and treated with Pipeline flow diversion were identified. Patient demographic data, clinical status and course, need for external ventricular drain (EVD), timing of treatment, and angiographic details and follow-up were recorded.


There were 13 patients identified (11 women and 2 men), and 4 had multiple aneurysms. Two aneurysms were treated on initial angiography, with average time to treatment of 3.1 days for the remainder, after discussion with the family and institution of dual antiplatelet therapy. Device placement was technically successful in all patients, with 2 patients receiving 2 devices and the remainder receiving 1 device. There was 1 intraoperative complication, of a wire perforation causing intracerebral hemorrhage requiring decompressive craniectomy. Three patients had required EVD placement for management of hydrocephalus. There was no rebleeding from the target lesion; however, one patient had worsening intraventricular hemorrhage and another had rupture of an unrecognized additional aneurysm, and both died. Of the other 11 patients, 10 made a good recovery, with 1 remaining in a vegetative state. Nine underwent follow-up angiography, with 5 achieving complete occlusion, 2 with reduced aneurysm size, and 2 requiring retreatment for aneurysm persistence or enlargement. There were no episodes of delayed rupture.


Pipeline flow diversion is a technically feasible and effective treatment for ruptured blister aneurysms, particularly in good-grade patients without hydrocephalus. Patients with a worse grade on presentation and requiring EVDs may have higher risk for bleeding complications and poor outcome. There was no rebleeding from the target lesion with use of a single device in this series.