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Delayed Retraction of the Pipeline Embolization Device and Corking Failure: Pitfalls of Pipeline Embolization Device Placement in the Setting of a Ruptured Aneurysm

McTaggart, Ryan A. MD*; Santarelli, Justin G. MD*,‡; Marcellus, Mary L. RN*; Steinberg, Gary K. MD; Dodd, Robert L. MD, PhD*,‡; Do, Huy M. MD*,‡; Marks, Michael P. MD*,‡

doi: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e31827fc9be
Technical Case Report

BACKGROUND AND IMPORTANCE: The safety of flow-diverting stents for the treatment of ruptured intracranial aneurysms is unknown.

CLINICAL PRESENTATION: A 35-year-old woman with a ruptured dissecting aneurysm of the intradural right vertebral artery and incorporating the right posterior inferior cerebellar artery was treated with a Pipeline Embolization Device (PED). Five days after reconstruction of the diseased right vertebral segment, she was treated for vasospasm, and retraction of the PED was observed, leaving her dissecting aneurysm unprotected. A second PED was placed with coverage of the aneurysm, but vasospasm complicated optimal positioning of the device.

CONCLUSION: In addition to the potential risks of dual antiplatelet therapy in these patients, this case illustrates 2 pitfalls of flow-diverting devices in vessels in vasospasm: delayed retraction of the device and difficulty positioning the device for deployment in the setting of vasospasm.


PED, Pipeline Embolization Device

PICA, posterior inferior cerebellar artery

SAH, subarachnoid hemorrhage

Departments of *Radiology and

Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California

Correspondence: Ryan A. McTaggart, MD, Department of Radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Drive, Room S-047, Stanford, CA 94305-5105. E-mail:

Received June 08, 2012

Accepted November 07, 2012

Copyright © by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons