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Case series
Triple therapy versus dual-antiplatelet therapy for dolichoectatic vertebrobasilar fusiform aneurysms treated with flow diverters


Background Dolichoectatic vertebrobasilar fusiform aneurysms (DVBFAs) have poor natural history when left untreated and high morbimortality when treated with microsurgery. Flow diversion (FD) with dual-antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) is feasible but carries high risk of perforator occlusion and progression of brainstem compression. Elaborate antithrombotic strategies are needed to preserve perforator patency while vessel remodeling occurs. We compared triple therapy (TT (DAPT plus oral anticoagulation)) and DAPT alone in patients with DVBFAs treated with FD.

Methods Retrospective comparison of DAPT and TT in patients with DVBFAs treated with FD at eight US centers.

Results The groups (DAPT=13, TT=14) were similar in age, sex, clinical presentation, baseline disability, and aneurysm characteristics. Radial access use was significantly higher in the TT group (71.4% vs 15.3%; P=0.006). Median number of flow diverters and adjunctive coiling use were non-different between groups. Acute ischemic stroke rate during the oral anticoagulation period was lower in the TT group than the DAPT group (7.1% vs 30.8%; P=0.167). Modified Rankin Scale score decline was significantly lower in the TT group (7.1% vs 69.2%; P=0.001). Overall rates of hemorrhagic complications (TT, 28.6% vs DAPT, 7.7%; P=0.162) and complete occlusion (TT, 25% vs DAPT, 54.4%; P=0.213) were non-different between the groups. Rate of moderate-to-severe disability at last follow-up was significantly lower in the TT group (21.4% vs 76.9%; P=0.007).

Conclusions Patients with DVBFAs treated with FD in the TT group had fewer ischemic strokes, less symptom progression, and overall better outcomes at last follow-up than similar patients in the DAPT group.

  • Aneurysm
  • Flow Diverter
  • Intervention

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