Flow diversion treatment of complex bifurcation aneurysms beyond the circle of Willis: a single-center series with special emphasis on covered cortical branches and perforating arteries

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BackgroundData regarding anatomic and clinical results of flow diversion treatment in complex bifurcation aneurysms of the anterior circulation are scarce.ObjectiveTo present our results of treatment of these lesions with special emphasis on the fate of ‘jailed’ cortical branches and perforating arteries.MethodsSeventeen patients were treated with flow diverters (FDs) for 18 aneurysms of the middle cerebral artery bifurcation (n=13) and the anterior communicating artery complex (n=5). Nineteen cortical branches were covered. A single FD was used in all patients.ResultsAt latest follow-up (mean 7.9 months; range 3–36; median 4.0) 2/19 (10.5%) of the covered branches were occluded, 9/19 (47.4%) showed a decreased caliber and the remaining branches were unchanged. All branch modifications were clinically asymptomatic. Mortality and permanent morbidity were 0%. Symptomatic ischemic events in perforator territories occurred in three patients (17.6%), which were reversible in all of them within 24 h. Follow-up MRI disclosed asymptomatic lacunar defects corresponding to covered perforating artery territories in five patients (29.4%). Altogether, perforator lesions—symptomatic and asymptomatic—occurred in 7/17 patients (41.2%). 33.3% of the aneurysms were occluded at latest follow-up; decreased diameters were seen in the other 66.7%.ConclusionsFlow diversion of bifurcation aneurysms is feasible with low rates of permanent morbidity and mortality. Caliber reduction and asymptomatic occlusion of covered cortical branches seems to be common, yet ischemic complications are rather linked to perforator occlusions. Our results on aneurysm occlusion rates are preliminary and longer follow-up periods are warranted.

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