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Treatment of posterior circulation non-saccular aneurysms with flow diversion versus stent-assisted coiling: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Treatment of non-saccular aneurysms of the posterior circulation poses a great challenge with unpredictable outcomes due to the absence of a true aneurysm neck and the presence of perforating vessels. In this article, we aim to compare endovascular treatment of unruptured posterior circulation non-saccular aneurysms with stent-assisted coiling (SAC) and flow diversion (FD) in terms of occlusion rate and clinical outcomes. A systematic search of electronic databases from inception to August 2019 identified 484 articles for screening. After proper inclusion/exclusion criteria, 15 articles were included and data were extracted and analyzed using meta-analysis of proportions. The pooled cohort consisted of 430 aneurysms: 128 (29.7%) treated with SAC in 5 studies and 302 (70.3%) treated with FD in 11 studies. Complete/near-complete occlusion was achieved in 83% after FD (95% CI 0.75 to 0.90; I2=45%) and 84% after SAC (95% CI 0.72 to 0.91; I2=22%), with no significant difference between techniques (p=0.95). Periprocedural complications were observed in 18% after FD (95% CI 0.14 to 0.23; I2=0%) and 6% after SAC (95% CI 0.02 to 0.13; I2=0%); the subgroup analysis was statistically significant (p=0.008). Furthermore, no statistically significant difference was observed in favorable clinical outcomes between groups. These results suggest similar efficacy in occlusion rate and favorable clinical outcome for posterior circulation non-saccular aneurysms treated with SAC and FD. Stroke was the most common complication regardless of treatment modality, and a lower periprocedural complication rate was noted with SAC. Further studies are needed with the primary focus of reducing the risk of stroke with either modality.

  • aneurysm
  • flow diverter
  • stent
  • coil
  • stroke

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