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Flow-Diverter Devices for Intracranial Aneurysms: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Arrese, Ignacio MD*; Sarabia, Rosario MD, PhD*; Pintado, Rebeca MD*; Delgado-Rodriguez, Miguel MD, PhD

doi: 10.1227/01.neu.0000430297.17961.f1
Review: Editor's Choice
Editor's Choice

BACKGROUND: Although the introduction of flow-diverter devices (FDDs) has aroused great enthusiasm, the level of evidence supporting their use has not been systematically evaluated.

OBJECTIVE: To report a systematic review of medical literature up to May 2012 on FDDs to assess the morbidity, case fatality rate, and efficacy of FDDs for intracranial aneurysms.

METHODS: The literature was searched by using MEDLINE, Embase, and all Evidence-Based Medicine in the OVID database. Eligibility criteria were studies including at least 10 patients, reporting duration of follow-up and number of patients lost to follow-up, and documenting the rate of aneurysm occlusion and death and neurological complications. The endpoints were angiographic success, early and late mortality, and neurological morbidity.

RESULTS: Fifteen studies were analyzed consisting of 897 patients with 1018 aneurysms. The mean value of methodological quality score was 14.4 using the STROBE score. The early mortality rate was 2.8% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.7-3.8; I2 = 93.4%) and the late mortality rate was 1.3% (95% CI: 0.2-2.3; I2 = 36.9%). The early neurological morbidity rate was 7.3% (95% CI: 5.7-9; I2 = 91.8%) and the late morbidity rate was 2.6% (95% CI: 1.1-4; I2 = 81.3%). The Egger test for early and late morbidity and aneurysm occlusion was <0.001.

CONCLUSION: With the available data from the studies, both heterogeneity and publication biases imply that the current clinical use of FDDs is not supported by high-quality evidence. In the absence of reliable evidence, the use of FDDs in patients eligible for more conventional treatments should be restricted to controlled clinical trials.

ABBREVIATIONS: CI, confidence interval

FDD, flow-diverter device

IA, intracranial aneurysm

*Unit of Vascular Neurosurgery, Hospital Universitario Río Hortega, Valladolid, Spain;

Department of Preventive Medicine, Universidad de Jaén, Jaén, Spain

Correspondence: Ignacio Arrese, MD, Hospital Universitario Río Hortega, c/ Dulzaina n° 2. 47012, Valladolid, Spain. E-mail: iarrese14@yahoo.es

Received August 30, 2012

Accepted March 26, 2013

Copyright © by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons