Endovascular stents are widely used for the elective treatment of cerebral aneurysms. Acute stenting is performed in the management of dissections, pseudo-aneurysms, broad-based aneurysms or as a 'bail out' measure after coil migration. The purpose of this study is to review the safety of using stents in acute subarachnoid haemorrhage.
The stent registry of our institution was reviewed for procedures in patients with acute subarachnoid haemorrhage. Imaging studies were reviewed on the hospital's PACS system and the patients' notes were retrieved to assess complications and clinical outcomes. Procedures were analysed according to the type of stent, treatment indication, antiplatelet regime, complications and outcomes.
Between 2008 and 2016, 51 stents were placed during 50 stenting procedures in 49 patients with acute subarachnoid haemorrhage. This included 24 patients with saccular aneurysms, 10 with blister aneurysms, 10 dissections and five fusiform aneurysms. Stents were deployed in 'bail out' situations on eight occasions. In six cases, flow-diverting stents were used. Eighteen patients (37%) in the cohort suffered a stroke. Nine patients (18%) suffered persistent clinical deficits as a result of the stenting procedure, all but one of which occurred within 24 h. Two patients had a transient ischaemic episode, and there was evidence of asymptomatic ischaemia on imaging in four cases (8%). Five patients died, three (6%) as a result of procedural complications. Twelve patients (25%) required a further embolisation procedure.
The use of stents in acute subarachnoid haemorrhage incurs a considerable complication risk and should be reserved for exceptional circumstances.
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