This New Device May Stop Repeat Aneurysms

HydroCoil device may reduce brain aneurysm recurrence rate more than platinum coil alone

(RxWiki News) A new, gel-filled device could keep burst brain blood vessels sealed, which could save lives.

The HydroCoil, a device that uses gel to plug burst brain blood vessels, may lower the risk of those blood vessels bursting again, a new study found.

The ballooning of a blood vessel is called an aneurysm. An aneurysm that bursts in the brain is a life-threatening emergency.

The HydroCoil combines a gel with the platinum coil usually used to repair a leaking brain blood vessel. Aneurysm patients in this study who were treated with this device had much lower rates of repeat ruptures than those who were not treated with this device.

"We think that one of the reasons that HydroCoil had better outcomes than the bare platinum coil in the ruptured aneurysms is that a ruptured aneurysm can have a little bit more of a complex or irregular shape," said lead study author Waleed Brinjikji, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, in a press release.

Dr. Brinjikji continued, "The expansion of the hydrogel likely allows for filling of some of these irregular ... rupture sites."

These researchers studied nearly 300 patients with ruptured aneurysms.

Half of the patients in this study were treated the usual way, with a tiny platinum coil that was injected into the vessel to plug the leak. The other half of the patients were treated with the HydroCoil.

The gel-like substance in the HydroCoil expands when it comes into contact with blood. This may block blood flow to the aneurysm.

Fifteen to 18 months after the aneurysm repair, the aneurysm ruptured again in more than 30 percent of the patients treated with the standard coil. Less than 20 percent of the patients who were treated with the HydroCoil had their aneurysm rupture again.

"When aneurysms burst, the bleeding can be hard to stop and may be life-threatening," said William W. Ashley, MD, a neurosurgeon at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, IL, in an interview with dailyRx News. "Thus a key factor in the success of treatment is meaningful reduction or elimination of aneurysmal bleeding/rebleeding risk."

Sometimes, studies funded by the manufacturer of the device (as this study was) can have biased results, Dr. Ashley said. Despite this, he noted that there were positive features of this study, such as the relatively large number of patients and reasonable follow-up time.

"It will be interesting to see the detailed analysis of the aneurysms in each group [when the full study is released], including location and shape," Dr. Ashley said. "Until then, the treatment strategy for each patient needs to be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis."

This study was presented Feb. 12 at the American Stroke Association's yearly meeting in Nashville, TN. Research presented at conferences may not have been peer-reviewed.

The original research on the HydroCoil was funded by MicroVention, the maker of the device. The authors did not disclose any conflicts of interest.

Review Date: 
February 10, 2015