Mariangela Piano, Luca Valvassori, Luca Quilici, Guglielmo Pero and Edoardo Boccardi
The introduction of flow diverter devices is revolutionizing the endovascular approach to cerebral aneurysms. Midterm and long-term results of angiographic, cross-sectional imaging and clinical follow-up are still lacking. The authors report their experience with endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms using both the Pipeline embolization device and Silk stents.
From October 2008 to July 2011 a consecutive series of 104 intracranial aneurysms in 101 patients (79 female, 22 male; average age 53 years) were treated. Three of the 104 aneurysms were ruptured and 101 were unruptured. Silk stents were implanted in 47 of the aneurysms and Pipeline stents in the remaining 57. In 14 cases a combination of flow diverter devices and coils were used to treat larger aneurysms (maximum diameter > 15 mm).
Patients underwent angiographic follow-up examination at 6 months after treatment, with or without CT or MRI, and at 1 year using CT or MRI, with or without conventional angiography.
In all cases placement of flow diverter stents was technically successful. The mortality and morbidity rates were both 3%. Adverse events without lasting clinical sequelae occurred in 20% of cases. Angiography performed at 6 months after treatment showed complete aneurysm occlusion in 78 of 91 cases (86% of evaluated aneurysms) and subocclusion in 11 (12%); only in 2 cases were the aneurysms unchanged. Fifty-three aneurysms were evaluated at 1 year after treatment. None of these aneurysms showed recanalization, and 1 aneurysm, which was incompletely occluded at the 6-month follow-up examination, was finally occluded. Aneurysmal sac shrinkage was observed in 61% of assessable aneurysms.
Parent artery reconstruction using flow diverter devices is a feasible, safe, and successful technique for the treatment of endovascular treatment of cerebral aneurysms.
Emilio Lozupone, Mariangela Piano, Luca Valvassori, Luca Quilici, Guglielmo Pero, Emiliano Visconti and Edoardo Boccardi
In this single-center series, the authors retrospectively evaluated the effectiveness, safety, and midterm follow-up results of ruptured aneurysms treated by implantation of a flow diverter device (FDD).
The records of 17 patients (12 females, 5 males, average World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies score = 2.9) who presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) due to the rupture of an intracranial aneurysm treated with an FDD were retrospectively reviewed. Of 17 ruptured aneurysms, 8 were blood blister–like aneurysms and the remaining 9 were dissecting aneurysms. The mean delay between SAH and treatment was 4.2 days. Intraprocedural and periprocedural morbidity and mortality were recorded. Clinical and angiographic follow-up evaluations were conducted between 6 and 12 months after the procedure.
None of the ruptured aneurysms re-bled after endovascular treatment. The overall mortality rate was 12% (2/17), involving 2 patients who died after a few days because of complications of SAH. The overall morbidity rate was 12%: 1 patient experienced intraparenchymal bleeding during the repositioning of external ventricular drainage, and 1 patient with a posterior inferior cerebellar artery aneurysm developed paraplegia due to a spinal cord infarction after 2 weeks. The angiographic follow-up evaluations showed a complete occlusion of the aneurysm in 12 of 15 surviving patients; of the 3 remaining cases, 1 patient showed a remnant of the aneurysm, 1 patient was retreated due to an enlargement of the aneurysm, and 1 patient was lost at the angiographic follow-up.
FDDs can be used in patients with ruptured aneurysms, where conventional neurosurgical or endovascular treatments can be challenging.
Guglielmo Pero, Federica Denegri, Luca Valvassori, Edoardo Boccardi and Giuseppe Scialfa
✓ The authors report the case of a 60-year-old man harboring a wide-necked giant aneurysm of the M1 segment of the left middle cerebral artery (MCA); his symptoms included transient ischemic attacks characterized by right hemiparesis and aphasia. The aneurysm was treated by placing a covered stent across the orifice of the aneurysm. The 18-month follow-up examination showed a very good outcome, with perfect left MCA patency, no new ischemic lesion, and minor residual aphasia and right hemiparesis. This is the first report in the literature of an MCA aneurysm treated using a covered stent.
Massimo Collice, Giuseppe D'Aliberti, Giuseppe Talamonti, Vincenzo Branca, Edoardo Boccardi, Giuseppe Scialfa and Pietro P. Versari
✓ Intracranial dural arteriovenous fistulas (AVFs) have been recognized as acquired lesions that can behave aggressively depending on the pattern of venous drainage. Based on the type of venous drainage, they can be classified as fistulas drained only by venous sinuses, those drained by venous sinuses with retrograde flow in arterialized leptomeningeal veins, and fistulas drained solely by arterialized leptomeningeal veins. Serious symptoms, including hemorrhage and focal deficit, are related to the presence of arterialized leptomeningeal veins. In this paper, the authors report a consecutive series treated between 1988 and 1993 of 20 cases of intracranial dural AVFs with “pure leptomeningeal drainage.” All patients underwent surgical interruption of the leptomeningeal draining veins. Based on the arterial supply, nine patients were managed by direct surgery, whereas 11 patients were prepared for surgery by means of preoperative arterial embolization. Radioanatomical cure of the fistula and good neurological recovery were achieved in 18 cases. Complete obliteration of the fistula was documented angiographically in two cases, but fatal hemorrhage occurred, probably due to partial thrombosis of the venous drainage. Based on this experience, the authors believe that surgical interruption of the draining veins is the best treatment option for intracranial dural AVFs. However, surgical results may be affected by the extension of postoperative thrombosis, which in turn may be related to the degree of preoperative venous engorgement.
Mariangela Piano, Luca Valvassori, Emilio Lozupone, Guglielmo Pero, Luca Quilici, Edoardo Boccardi and the FRED Italian Registry Group
The introduction of flow-diverter devices (FDDs) has revolutionized the endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms. Here the authors present their Italian multicenter experience using the flow re-direction endoluminal device (FRED) in the treatment of cerebral aneurysms, evaluating both short- and long-term safety and efficacy of this device.
Between February 2013 and December 2014, 169 consecutive aneurysms treated using FRED in 166 patients were entered into this study across 30 Italian centers. Data collected included patient demographics, aneurysm location and characteristics, baseline angiography, adverse event and serious adverse event information, morbidity and mortality rates, and pre- and posttreatment modified Rankin Scale scores, as well as angiographic and cross-sectional CT/MRI follow-up at 3–6 months and/or 12–24 months per institutional standard of care. All images were reviewed and adjudicated by an independent core lab.
Of the 169 lesions initially entered into the study, 4 were later determined to be extracranial or nonaneurysmal by the core lab and were excluded, leaving 165 aneurysms in 162 patients treated in 163 procedures. Ninety-one (56.2%) patients were asymptomatic with aneurysms found incidentally. Of the 165 aneurysms, 150 (90.9%) were unruptured. One hundred thirty-four (81.2%) were saccular, 27 (16.4%) were fusiform/dissecting, and the remaining 4 (2.4%) were blister-like. One hundred thirty-seven (83.0%) arose from the anterior circulation.
FRED deployment was impossible in 2/163 (1.2%) cases, and in an additional 4 cases (2.5%) the device was misdeployed. Overall mortality and morbidity rates were 4.3% and 7.3%, respectively, with rates of mortality and morbidity potentially related to FRED of up to 2.4% and 6.2%, respectively. Neuroimaging follow-up at 3–6 months showed complete or nearly complete occlusion of the aneurysm in 94% of cases, increasing to 96% at 12–24 months’ follow-up. Aneurysmal sac shrinkage was observed in 78% of assessable aneurysms.
This preliminary experience using FRED for endovascular treatment of complex unruptured and ruptured aneurysms showed a high safety and efficacy profile that is comparable to those of other FDDs currently in use.
Giuseppe Lanzino and Edoardo Boccardi
Waleed Brinjikji, Mariangela Piano, Shanna Fang, Guglielmo Pero, David F. Kallmes, Luca Quilici, Luca Valvassori, Emilio Lozupone, Harry J. Cloft, Edoardo Boccardi and Giuseppe Lanzino
Flow-diversion treatment has been shown to be associated with high rates of angiographic obliteration; however, the treatment is relatively contraindicated in the acute phase following subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) as these patients require periprocedural dual antiplatelet therapy. Acute coiling followed by flow diversion has emerged as an intriguing and feasible treatment option for ruptured complex and giant aneurysms. In this study the authors report outcomes and complications of patients with ruptured aneurysms undergoing coiling in the acute phase followed by planned delayed flow diversion.
This case series includes patients from 2 institutions. All patients underwent standard endovascular coiling in the acute phase after SAH with the intention and plan to proceed with flow diversion at a later date. Outcomes studied included angiographic occlusion, procedure-related complications, and long-term clinical outcome as measured using the modified Rankin Scale.
A total of 31 patients underwent coiling in the acute phase with the intention to undergo flow diversion at a later date. The mean aneurysm size was 15.8 ± 7.9 mm. Of the 31 patients undergoing coiling, 4 patients could not undergo further flow-diverter therapy: 3 patients (9.7%) died of complications of subarachnoid hemorrhage and 1 patient had permanent morbidity as a result of perioperative ischemic stroke (3.1%). Twenty-seven patients underwent staged placement of flow diverters after adequate recovery. The median time to treatment was 16 weeks. There was one case of aneurysm rebleeding following coil treatment. There were no cases of permanent morbidity or mortality resulting from flow-diverter treatment. Twenty-four patients underwent imaging follow-up; 18 of these patients had aneurysms that were completely or nearly completely occluded (58.1% on an intent-to-treat basis). At last follow-up (mean 18.3 months), 25 patients had mRS scores ≤ 2 (80.6% on an intent-to-treat basis).
Staged treatment of ruptured complex and giant intracranial aneurysms with coiling in the acute phase and flow-diverter treatment following recovery from SAH is both safe and effective. In this series, no cases of rebleeding occurred during the interval between coiling and flow diversion. This strategy should be considered as a valid option in patients presenting with these challenging ruptured aneurysms.