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Researchers report real-world results on use of new device to treat brain aneurysms

Boston
Monday, January 10, 2022, 13:00 Hrs  [IST]

A recent international study led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and other institutions offers real-world results on the use of a novel device for treating brain aneurysms, or balloon-like bulges on weakened blood vessels that can rupture to cause life-threatening bleeding.

The study, which is published in Stroke, involved the use of the Woven EndoBridge (WEB) device. This device consists of a tiny mesh plug that can be inserted through a vessel and placed into an aneurysm to block, or occlude, blood from going into the bulging region—thereby stabilizing the vessel and preventing the aneurysm from rupturing. The device can also be used to stabilize acutely ruptured aneurysms, a critical aspect of the device as it does not require blood thinning medication as comparable therapies do.

“The WEB has recently become available in the United States, and elsewhere across the globe the device has been available for a longer time—but no large-scale study of its efficacy had been performed until now,” says lead author and founder Adam A. Dmytriw, MD, MPH, MSc, an interventional neuroradiology and endovascular neurosurgery fellow at MGH. “Thus, we founded the WorldWideWEB Consortium uniting the experience of 22 tertiary/quaternary institutions across North America, Europe, South America, and Australia.”

The team found that among 671 patients with 683 brain aneurysms (26.2% previously ruptured) who were treated with the device and were followed for a median of 11 months, adequate occlusion occurred in 85.7% of aneurysms, and complete occlusion in 57.8%. Retreatment was required in 7.8% of aneurysms. Blood clot–related complications developed in 7.5% of procedures, of which only 4.0% were symptomatic and 2.0% were permanent. Bleeding complications occurred in 3.0% of procedures. No patients experienced aneurysm re-rupture after treatment.

“Patients who are not suitable for open aneurysm surgery or who have recently had a life-threatening rupture and would be at high risk for additional bleeding if treated with conventional endovascular techniques due to the need for blood thinners, now have a viable treatment option,” says Dmytriw. “We hope that our results will help guide interventionalists in the appropriate use of the WEB so that patients with challenging brain aneurysms will have a safe option for care.”

Additional medical institutions continue to join the consortium, which is also led by Aman B. Patel, MD and Christopher J. Stapleton, MD, with plans to conduct wide-ranging studies to assess the use of the WEB for diverse types of aneurysms and to examine potential challenges to its use.

The study was supported by the Andrew David Heitman Neurovascular Research Fund and the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) Foundation Young Investigator Research Grant Programme.

Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The Mass General Research Institute conducts the largest hospital-based research programme in the nation, with annual research operations of more than $1 billion and comprises more than 9,500 researchers working across more than 30 institutes, centers and departments.

 

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