Background and purpose Assisted coiling with stents or balloons enables a higher percentage of complete occlusions of saccular unruptured intracranial aneurysms to be achieved with a reasonable complication rate. The aim of this study was to compare stent-assisted coiling and the balloon remodeling technique in terms of efficacy, stability, and safety for the treatment of comparable unruptured saccular intracranial aneurysms.
Materials and methods 268 patients with 286 saccular unruptured wide-necked intracranial aneurysms were treated at our institution with stent- or balloon-assisted coiling and retrospectively reviewed. Statistical analysis was performed to assess significant differences between the two groups.
Results The rate of complete occlusion at the end of the procedure was higher with stent-assisted coiling than with balloon-assisted coiling (86.8% vs 78%) and the same results were also observed after 6 months (92.1% vs 77.6%; p=0.05). About 50% of major recurrences occurred in large to giant aneurysms (p<0.001). The overall complication rate was similar in the stent-assisted and balloon-assisted groups (10.3% vs 9.3%). Independently of the technique, a higher complication rate was observed with bifurcational aneurysms, particularly in the middle cerebral artery (p=0.016).
Conclusions Stent-assisted coiling achieved better results in terms of complete occlusion and stability than balloon-assisted coiling with a lower rate of recurrence without being associated with a higher risk of intraprocedural complications. Bifurcational and large to giant aneurysms were associated with higher complication rates and higher recurrence rates, respectively, and still represent a challenge for both techniques.
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