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Neurology India
Medknow Publications on behalf of the Neurological Society of India
ISSN: 0028-3886 EISSN: 1998-4022
Vol. 59, Num. 3, 2011, pp. 369-372

Neurology India, Vol. 59, No. 3, May-June, 2011, pp. 369-372

Original Article

Intraprocedural cerebral aneurysm rupture during endovascular coiling

Peizhuo Zang, Chuansheng Liang, Qiang Shi, Yunjie Wang

Department of Neurosurgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China

Correspondence Address: Peizhuo Zang Department of Neurosurgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Heping Beier Street, 110001, Shenyang China

Date of Submission: 07-Dec-2010
Date of Decision: 01-Jan-2011
Date of Acceptance: 09-Jan-2011

Code Number: ni11111

PMID: 21743164

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.82736


Background : Intraprocedural aneurysm rupture is considered to be one of the most formidable complications of the endovascular treatment of cerebral aneurysms and is associated with high mortality.
: To report the clinical outcomes of cerebral aneurysms that ruptured during endovascular coiling.
Patients and Methods
: Over a period of six years, 559 endovascular embolizations were performed in 467 patients, with 507 cerebral aneurysms. Intraprocedural aneurysm rupture occurred in 14 cases (mean aneurysm size, 3.8 mm). Follow-up angiograms, at a minimum of three months post embolization, were available in 11 living patients. Acute and follow-up results were reviewed.
: The difference in the rates of aneurysm perforation during endovascular coiling between ruptured and unruptured aneurysms was significant (P < 0.05). There were three (21.4%) deaths related to this complication and three (21.4%) patients developed new deficits (modified Rankin Scale scores 1 to 2). Acute results of embolization were: complete occlusion in eight (57.1%), neck remnant in two (14.3%), and incomplete occlusion in four (28.6%) patients. Long-term follow-up results in 11 living patients were: major recanalization in one (9.1%), minor recanalization in one (9.1%), and stable occlusion in nine (81.8%).
: Intraprocedural aneurysm rupture frequently occurs in small aneurysms and appears to be associated with relatively high rates of mortality.

Keywords: Cerebral aneurysm, embolization, rupture


Intraprocedural aneurysm rupture is one of the most formidable complications of the endovascular treatment of cerebral aneurysms. The reported frequency range is from 1.4 to 4.5%. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9] The serious outcomes reported in the meta-analysis [10] include death in 33% and disability in 5% of the patients. A recent single large-volume center [11] experience has shown no mortality and a morbidity of 20%. These results have been attributed to the protocol used: heparin reversal, rapid completion of aneurysm obliteration, ventricular drainage, and ready availability of the neurosurgical team. We present the clinical outcomes in patients who have experienced an intraprocedural aneurysm rupture.

Patients and Methods

Between September 2001 and Semptember 2007, 437 consecutive patients with 507 cerebral aneurysms (137 patients with unruptured aneurysms and 370 patients with ruptured aneurysms) have undergone 559 embolization procedures at our institution. Intraprocedural aneurysm perforation occurred in 14 (2.8%) patients with ruptured aneurysms. Demonstration of extra-aneurysmal contrast material from an aneurysm was considered for the definition of aneurysm perforation [Figure - 1]. The age range was between 39 and 75 years (mean, 52.4 years) and there were eight females.

Embolization procedures

Embolization was performed using a single-microcatheter technique in nine (64.3%) patients, a stent-assisted technique in four (28.6%) patients, and a balloon-remodeling technique in one (7.1%) patient. Only bare coils were used in these patients. The demographic data and aneurysm characteristics are summarized in [Table - 1].

Management of intraprocedural aneurysm rupture

In all the patients, intraprocedural aneurysm rupture resulted from a coil portion during coil placement. When a contrast leak was identified, the following steps were taken: heparin reversal with intravenous protamine sulfate; rapid completion of aneurysm obliteration using the residual segment of the inserted coil, or if possible, with additional coils and ventricular drainage, depending on patient status and neurological deficits. When a microcatheter tip or portion of a coil extruded from an aneurysm, a prepared coil or residual coil portion within the microcatheter was carefully advanced with slight withdrawal of the microcatheter, so that the last coil portion was at least deployed in the aneurysm. This protocol was adopted in all the patients with contrast leak and the result was stoppage of the contrast leakage at the end of the procedure.


Acute outcomes were evaluated by control angiography, obtained at the end of the procedure, and long-term follow-up outcomes were determined by the last follow-up angiography. Acute outcomes were classified as complete occlusion, neck remnant, and incomplete occlusion. Long-term follow-up outcomes were classified as stable occlusions, minor aneurysm recanalization was defined as minimal coil compaction at the aneurysm neck, and major recanalization was defined as contrast filling within the aneurysm dome, significant coil loosening or compaction. Two neuroradiologists independently assessed acute and follow-up anatomic outcomes and the conflicting results were resolved by a consensus. The clinical outcomes were assessed using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score. [12]


Clinical outcome

There was a significant difference in the rates of aneurysm perforation during endovascular coiling, between ruptured and unruptured aneurysms (χ2 = 4.015, P < 0.05). There were three (21.4%) deaths attributable to major intraprocedural aneurysm ruptures. New neurological deficits were noted in three (21.4%) patients at discharge: subarachnoid hemorrhage (Hunt and Hess Grade II / III, weak right hand grip weakness in one; unilateral third nerve palsy in one; and mild gait disturbance in one). One patient, with an mRS score of 3, underwent external ventricular drainage after embolization and developed intraventricular hemorrhage and worsening hydrocephalus. Recurrent hydrocephalus after drain removal required revision of ventricular drainage, and a poorly functioning drain caused uncontrolled hydrocephalus and gait disturbance. Ventriculoperitoneal shunting was performed before discharge. At the three-month follow-up visit, the gait disturbance had improved considerably (mRS 1). These three patients had follow-up visits at three and six months. The mRS scores were 0 in two patients and 1 in one patient.

Angiographic outcome

The acute results were: complete occlusion in eight (57.1%), neck remnant in two (14.3%), and incomplete occlusion in four (28.6%) patients. Mean follow-up period was 4.5 months (range, 3 - 6 months) and the outcomes were: complete occlusion in nine (81.8%), where one of the neck remnants disappeared; minor recanalization in one (9.1%); and major recanalization in one (9.1%). The patient with major recanalization underwent repeat embolization after three months.


Intraprocedural aneurysm rupture usually occurs with aneurysms that rupture and is associated with significant morbidity and morality. Morbidity and mortality may not be avoided even when rapid completion of aneurysm obliteration with coils is achieved. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10] In our series, intraprocedural aneurysm rupture was 2.8% and the lowest reported rate was 1.7% in the series by Kwon and colleagues. [11] In our series the mean size of the aneurysm was less than 4 mm and intraprocedural aneurysm rupture occurred in patients with ruptured aneurysms. [9] In the series by Kwon et al., [11] they could not find any relation with the learning curve and no difference between anterior and posterior circulation aneurysms. When there is any suspicion of aneurysm rupture during the procedure, the interventionalist must focus on the measures to prevent contrast leakage, rather than continuing with the procedure to achieve the best anatomic results. The rate of incomplete occlusion in our study is similar to the earlier reported rates, 2.3 to 10.7%. [13],[14]

The mortality in this series was 28.6% and similar high mortality rates have been reported in other series. [15],[16] In the series reported by Ricolfi et al. [17] two patients developed mydriasis and temporary arrest of cerebral circulation, as shown by the angiography. In both the patients, the extravasation of contrast media was minimal. Raymond and Roy [18] reported two deaths related to intraprocedural bleeding, one due to raised intracranial pressure and the other following massive cerebral infarction secondary to carotid occlusion. Emergent decompressive craniotomy, evacuation of space occupying hematoma, and acute aneurysm clipping, are some of the options to save life in patients with this complication. [19]


1.Brisman JL, Niimi Y, Song JK, Berenstein A. Aneurysmal rupture during coiling: Low incidence and good outcomes at a single large volume center. Neurosurgery 2005;57:1103-9.  Back to cited text no. 1  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
2.Zhang J, Lv X, Jiang C, Li Y, Yang X, Wu Z. Endovascular treatment of cerebral aneurysms with the use of stents in small cerebral vessels. Neurol Res 2010;32:119-22.  Back to cited text no. 2  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
3.Doerfler A, Wanke I, Egelhof T, Dietrich U, Asgari S, Stolke D, et al. Aneurysmal rupture during embolization with Guglielmi detachable coils: Causes, management, and outcome. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2001;22:1825-32.  Back to cited text no. 3  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
4.Lv X, Li Y, Jiang C, Yang X, Wu Z. Potential advantages and limitations of the Leo stent in endovascular treatment of complex cerebral aneurysms. Eur J Radiol 2010 Jul 8. [In press].  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Kwon BJ, Han MH, Oh CW, Kim KH, Chang KH. Procedure-related haemorrhage in embolisation of intracranial aneurysms with Guglielmi detachable coils. Neuroradiology 2003;45:562-9.  Back to cited text no. 5  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
6.Li MH, Gao BL, Fang C, Cheng YS, Li YD, Wang J, et al. Prevention and management of intraprocedural rupture of intracranial aneurysm with detachable coils during embolization. Neuroradiology 2006;48:907-15.  Back to cited text no. 6  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
7.Nguyen TN, Raymond J, Guilbert F, Roy D, Bérubé MD, Mahmoud M, et al. Association of endovascular therapy of very small ruptured aneurysms with higher rates of procedure-related rupture. J Neurosurg 2008;108:1088-92.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Sluzewski M, Bosch JA, van Rooij WJ, Nijssen PC, Wijnalda D. Rupture of intracranial aneurysms during treatment with Guglielmi detachable coils: Incidence, outcome, and risk factors. J Neurosurg 2001;94:238-40.  Back to cited text no. 8  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
9.Ioannidis I, Lalloo S, Corkill R, Kuker W, Byrne JV. Endovascular treatment of very small intracranial aneurysms. J Neurosurg 2010;112:551-6.  Back to cited text no. 9  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
10.Cloft HJ, Kallmes DF. Cerebral aneurysm perforations complicating therapy with Guglielmi detachable coils: A meta-analysis. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2002;23:1706-9.  Back to cited text no. 10  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
11.Kwon BJ, Chang HW, Youn SW, Kim JE, Han MH. Intracranial aneurysm perforation during endosaccular coiling: Impact on clinical outcome, initial occlusion, and recanalization rates. Neurosurgery 2008;63:676-83.  Back to cited text no. 11  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
12.Van Swieten J, Koudstaal P, Visser M, van Gijn J. Interobserver agreement for the assessment of handicap in stroke patients. Stroke 1988;19:604-7.  Back to cited text no. 12    
13.Henkes H, Fischer S, Weber W, Miloslavski E, Felber S, Brew S, et al. Endovascular coil occlusion of 1811 intracranial aneurysms: Early angiographic and clinical results. Neurosurgery 2004;54:268-85.  Back to cited text no. 13  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
14.Murayama Y, Nien YL, Duckwiler G, Gobin YP, Jahan R, Frazee J, et al. Guglielmi detachable coil embolization of cerebral aneurysms: 11 years' experience. J Neurosurg 2003;98:959-66.  Back to cited text no. 14  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
15.Guglielmi G, Vinuela F, Duckwiler G, Dion J, Lylyk P, Berenstein A, et al. Endovascular treatment of posterior circulation aneurysms by electrothrombosis using electrically detachable coils. J Neurosurg 1992;77:515-24.  Back to cited text no. 15    
16.Vinuela F, Duckwiler G, Mawad M. Guglielmi detachable coil embolization of acute intracranial aneurysm: Perioperative anatomical and clinical outcome in 403 patients. J Neurosurg 1997;86:475-82.  Back to cited text no. 16    
17.Ricolfi F, Le Guerinel C, Blustajn J, Combes C, Brugieres P, Melon E, et al. Rupture during treatment of recently ruptured aneurysms with Guglielmi electrodetachable coils. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 1998;19:1653-8.  Back to cited text no. 17  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
18.Raymond J, Roy D. Safety and efficacy of endovascular treatment of acutely ruptured aneurysms. Neurosurgery 1997;41:1235-46.  Back to cited text no. 18  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
19.Carvi y Nievas M, Haas E, Höllerhage HG. Severe intracranial bleedings during endovascular procedures: Outcome of surgically treated patients. Neurol Res 2007;29:81-90.  Back to cited text no. 19    

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