Endovascular coil embolization of cerebral aneurysm remnants after incomplete surgical obliteration

Alejandro A. Rabinstein, Douglas A. Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Introduction - The presence of an aneurysm remnant after incomplete or unsuccessful surgical clipping is associated with persistent risk of regrowth and rupture, and additional treatment is generally recommended. Attempts at surgical re-exploration are technically difficult and carry significant risk. Endovascular therapy can represent a valuable therapeutic alterative in these cases. Methods - We reviewed the information on 21 patients with postsurgical aneurysm remnants treated at our institution with endovascular coil occlusion between 1991 and 2000. Clinical outcome was measured using the modified Rankin scale. Statistical analysis of outcome predictors was performed using the two-tailed Fisher exact test. Results - Sixty-seven percent of the aneurysms were located in the anterior circulation. The median aneurysm size at the time of surgery was 9.9 mm (range 3 to 35 mm). The mean size of the aneurysm remnants before coiling was 6.4 mm (range 3 to 14 mm). Endovascular coiling resulted in total occlusion of the remnants in 81% of the cases. No major complications were associated with the endovascular treatment. Seventy-two percent of patients left the hospital without any functional impairment (modified Rankin scale 0 to 1). No cases of subarachnoid hemorrhage or symptomatic aneurysmal regrowth were noted after endovascular treatment over a mean follow-up of 22 months. Presence of disability or death was associated with an initial (presurgical) presentation with subarachnoid hemorrhage (P=0.04) and an interval between incomplete clipping and endovascular coil embolization ≤-1 month (P=0.0005). Conclusion - Endovascular coil occlusion of postsurgical aneurysm remnants is a safe and efficacious therapeutic alternative in selected cases. Postoperative angiography to identify aneurysm remnants that may be amenable to endovascular treatment should be considered in all patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1809-1815
Number of pages7
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2002


  • Aneurysm
  • Endovascular therapy
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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