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Original research
Spontaneous delayed migration or shortening after pipeline embolization device treatment of intracranial aneurysm: incidence, management, and risk factors


Background Studies reporting spontaneous delayed migration or shortening (SDMS) after treatment with the Pipeline Embolization Device (PED) are limited. This study aimed to evaluate the incidence of SDMS after PED treatment, propose management strategies, and identify the risk factors contributing to its occurrence.

Methods We retrospectively reviewed consecutive patients with an intracranial aneurysm (IA) treated with PEDs at three institutions. SDMS was classified as type I or II based on whether the PED covered the aneurysm neck.

Results The total cohort comprised 790 patients. SDMS was identified in 24 (3.04%) patients. Eighteen of the 24 patients had type I SDMS and did not require retreatment, while the remaining six patients had type II SDMS and all received retreatment. Multivariate logistic regression showed that the difference between the proximal and distal parent artery diameters (DPAD) (adjusted OR 2.977; 95% CI 1.054 to 8.405; P=0.039) and device tortuosity index (DTI) (adjusted OR 8.059; 95% CI 2.867 to 23.428; P<0.001) were independent predictors of SDMS after PED treatment, while the difference in length (DL) (adjusted OR 0.841; 95% CI 0.738 to 0.958; P=0.009) and PED plus coiling (adjusted OR 0.288; 95% CI 0.106 to 0.785; P=0.015) were protective factors.

Conclusion The incidence of SDMS after PED treatment of IA was 3.04%. For patients with type I SDMS with incomplete aneurysm occlusion we recommend continuous imaging follow-up while, for patients with type II SDMS, we recommend aggressive retreatment. The DPAD and DTI were independent risk predictors of SDMS after PED treatment, while the DL and PED plus coiling were protective factors.

  • Aneurysm
  • Flow Diverter
  • Complication

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. Not applicable.

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