The Pipeline Embolization Device (PED) is increasingly used for both on- and off-label purposes for treatment of intracranial aneurysms. The device gradually slows flow of blood into the aneurysm, but the high metal coverage of PED promotes endothelialization of the device. Occasionally, this leads to in-stent stenosis that is clinically well tolerated. We present a multi-institutional Pipeline series that includes three cases of gradual asymptomatic occlusion within the PED and parent vessel.Methods
Institutional databases at each participating center were searched for patients treated with the PED. Patients with at least 50% stenosis or occlusion were selected and all relevant clinical and radiographic data were reviewed.Results
A total of 326 cases performed by five neurointerventionalists across four institutions were reviewed. Among these there were three cases of complete occlusion and two cases of stenosis of more than 50%, for an occlusion rate of 0.9%. All patients were clinically asymptomatic.Conclusions
A gradual tourniquet-like occlusion can occur following placement of the PED, leading to vessel occlusion. This has been clinically well tolerated by patients in our series due to the formation of pial collaterals as the stenosis progresses, likely due to ischemic preconditioning. Small parent vessel, pre-existing stenosis, fusiform pathology, overlapping devices, and suboptimal antiplatelet therapy seem to be predisposing factors. Further experience and follow-up will allow us to characterize the risk factors and optimize post-procedural therapy for these patients.