Successful application of endovascular neurosurgery depends on high-quality imaging to define the pathology and the devices as they are being deployed. This is especially challenging in the treatment of complex cases, particularly in proximity to the skull base or in patients who have undergone prior endovascular treatment. The authors sought to optimize real-time image guidance using a simple algorithm that can be applied to any existing fluoroscopy system. Exposure management (exposure level, pulse management) and image post-processing parameters (edge enhancement) were modified from traditional fluoroscopy to improve visualization of device position and material density during deployment. Examples include the deployment of coils in small aneurysms, coils in giant aneurysms, the Pipeline embolization device (PED), the Woven EndoBridge (WEB) device, and carotid artery stents. The authors report on the development of the protocol and their experience using representative cases.
The stent deployment protocol is an image capture and post-processing algorithm that can be applied to existing fluoroscopy systems to improve real-time visualization of device deployment without hardware modifications. Improved image guidance facilitates aneurysm coil packing and proper positioning and deployment of carotid artery stents, flow diverters, and the WEB device, especially in the context of complex anatomy and an obscured field of view.