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Prophylactic administration of tirofiban for preventing thromboembolic events in flow diversion treatment of intracranial aneurysms


Background Flow diverter (FD) is widely used in the treatment of intracranial aneurysms. However, thromboembolic events (TEs) continue to be the major complications during the periprocedural phase. To evaluate the safety and efficacy of the prophylactic use of tirofiban, combined with the conventional dual antiplatelet therapy (DAT), as a new antiplatelet protocol in patients with intracranial aneurysms treated with FDs.

Methods At least 3–5 days before the procedure, daily DAT were administrated to the patients. Tirofiban was administered as an intravenous bolus (5 µg/kg) over a 3 min period during or immediately after FD deployment, followed by a 0.05 µg/kg/min maintenance infusion for 24–48 hours. Periprocedural TEs and hemorrhagic events (HEs) were recorded.

Results A total of 331 patients were included, including 229 (69.2%) who received tirofiban administration (tirofiban group) and 102 (30.8%) who received only DAT (non-tirofiban group). Periprocedural TEs occurred in 12 (3.6%) patients, including eight (7.8%) in the non-tirofiban group and four (1.7%) in the tirofiban group. In multivariate analysis, patients receiving tirofiban administration had significantly lower TEs as compared with those who received only DAT (P=0.004). Balloon angioplasty and longer procedure time (>137 min) were also risk factors for TEs. Also, no increase was observed in the rate of HEs related to tirofiban administration.

Conclusions The current study suggested that prophylactic administration of tirofiban combined with conventional oral DAT seems safe and efficient for preventing TEs during FD treatment of unruptured intracranial aneurysms. Balloon angioplasty and prolonged procedure are associated with a high risk of TEs.

  • flow diverter
  • aneurysm
  • platelets
  • complication

Data availability statement

Unpublished data are available upon reasonable request from the corresponding author.

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