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Safety and efficacy of ticagrelor as single antiplatelet therapy in prevention of thromboembolic complications associated with the Pipeline Embolization Device (PED): multicenter experience


Background Flow diversion (FD) is a common treatment modality for complex intracranial aneurysms. A major concern regarding the use of FD is thromboembolic events (TEE). There is debate surrounding the optimal antiplatelet regimen to prevent TEE. We aim to evaluate the safety and efficacy of ticagrelor as a single antiplatelet therapy (SAPT) for the prevention of TEE following FD for complex aneurysm treatment.

Methods A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained neuroendovascular database at three endovascular centers was performed. Patients were included if they had an intracranial aneurysm that was treated with FD between January 2018 and September 2019 and were treated with ticagrelor as SAPT. Primary outcomes included early (within 72 hours post-procedure) and late (within 6 months) ischemic events.

Results A total of 24 patients (mean age 47.7 years) with 36 aneurysms were eligible for analysis, including 15 (62.5%) females. 14 (58.3%) patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage. 35 aneurysms arose from the anterior circulation and 1 from the posterior circulation. 23 aneurysms had a saccular morphology, whereas 7 were fusiform and 6 were blister. For the treatment of all 36 aneurysms, 30 procedures were performed with 32 FD devices. Procedural in-stent thrombosis occurred in 2 cases and was treated with intra-arterial tirofiban without complications. Aneurysm re-bleeding was reported in 1 (4.2%) patient. There were no reported early or late TEE. Three patients discontinued ticagrelor due to systemic side effects.

Conclusion Ticagrelor is a safe and effective SAPT for the prevention of TEE after FD. Large multicenter prospective studies are warranted to validate our findings.

  • flow diverter
  • device
  • hemorrhage
  • drug
  • platelets

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