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OBJECTIVE: The past 15 years have seen a revolution in the treatment of intracranial aneurysms. Endovascular technology has evolved rapidly since the Food and Drug Administration approval of Guglielmi detachable coils in 1995, which now allows successful treatment of most aneurysms. The authors provide a review of their 11-year experience at Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience with endovascular embolization of intracranial aneurysms and discuss clinical trial outcomes and future directions of this treatment method. METHODS: The authors reviewed the clinical and angiographic outcomes for 1307 patients undergoing endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms. Their analysis focuses on posterior circulation and middle cerebral artery aneurysms, as well as cases of stent-assisted coil embolization. They review their procedural protocol and patient selection criteria for endovascular management. RESULTS: Several large clinical trials have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms. The International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial provides Level I evidence demonstrating a significant reduction in disability or death with endovascular treatment compared with surgical clipping. The most common procedural complications include intraprocedural rupture and thromboembolic events; avoidance strategies are also discussed. Vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage causes neurological morbidity and mortality and can be successfully managed by early recognition and interventional treatment with angioplasty, pharmacologic agents, or both. CONCLUSION: Long-term studies evaluating experience with aneurysm coil embolization during the past decade indicate that this is a safe and durable treatment method. The introduction of stent-assist techniques has improved the management of wide-neck aneurysms. Future technology developments will likely improve the durability of endovascular treatment further by delivering bioactive agents that promote aneurysm thrombosis beyond the coil mass alone. It is clear that endovascular therapy of both ruptured and unruptured aneurysms is becoming a mainstay of practice in this patient population. Although not replacing open surgery, the continued improvements have allowed aneurysms that previously were amenable only to open clip ligation to be treated safely with durable long-term outcomes.
PMID: 17053622 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]