Large vertebrobasilar fusiform aneurysms (VFAs) represent a small subset of intracranial aneurysms and are often among the most difficult to treat. Current surgical and endovascular techniques fail to achieve a complete or acceptable result because of complications, including late-onset basilar artery thrombosis and perforator infarction. The parallel-stent placement technique was established in the authors' department, and this study reports the application of this technique in the treatment of unruptured VFAs.
Eight patients with 8 unruptured VFAs who underwent parallel stent placement between April 2011 and August 2012 were included. The diameters of the VFAs ranged from 7.9 to 14.0 mm, and the lengths from 27.5 to 54.4 mm. Of the 8 patients with unruptured VFAs, 3 received double or triple parallel stents and 5 patients received a series-connected stent with another 1 or 2 stents deployed parallel to them. Outcomes for these patients were tabulated, based on the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score and angiographic results.
All of the 25 stents were successfully placed without any treatment-related complications. During follow-up, 5 patients had decreased mRS scores, 2 were unchanged, and 1 was increased for subarachnoid hemorrhage. Immediate and follow-up clinical outcome was completely or partially recovered in most patients. Follow-up angiograms revealed 2 aneurysms were reduced in size and 6 were unchanged after stent placement. No in-stent stenosis, occlusion of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery, or perforators jailed by the stent occurred in any of the aneurysms.
These results provide encouraging support for the parallel-stent placement technique, which can be envisaged as an alternative strategy against unruptured VFAs. However, testing in more patients is needed.