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J Korean Neurosurg Soc. 2008 Jun;43(6):275-80. doi: 10.3340/jkns.2008.43.6.275. Epub 2008 Jun 20.

Thromboembolic Events after Coil Embolization of Cerebral Aneurysms : Prospective Study with Diffusion-Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging Follow-up.

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Department of Neurosurgery , Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu, Korea.



In order to assess the incidence of thromboembolic events and their clinical presentations, the present study prospectively examined routine brain magnetic resonance images (MRI) taken within 48 hours after a coil embolization of cerebral aneurysms.


From January 2006 to January 2008, 163 cases of coil embolization of cerebral aneurysm were performed along with routine brain MRI, including diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance (DW-MR) imaging, within 48 hours after the embolization of the aneurysm to detect the silent thromboembolic events regardless of any neurological changes. If any neurological changes were observed, an immediate brain MRI follow-up was performed. High-signal-intensity lesions in the DW-MR images were considered as acute thromboembolic events and the number and locations of the lesions were also recorded.


Among the 163 coil embolization cases, 98 (60.1%) showed high-signal intensities in the DW-MR imaging follow-up, 66 cases (67.0%) involved the eloquent area and only 6 cases (6.0%) showed focal neurological symptoms correlated to the DW-MR findings. The incidence of DW-MR lesions was higher in older patients (>/=60 yrs) when compared to younger patients (<60 yrs) (p=0.002, odd's ratio=1.043). The older patients also showed a higher incidence of abnormal DW-MR signals in aneurysm-unrelated lesions (p=0.0003, odd's ratio=5.078).


The incidence of symptomatic thromboembolic attacks after coil embolization of the cerebral aneurysm was found to be lower than that reported in previous studies. While DW-MR imaging revealed a higher number of thromboembolic events, most of these were clinically silent and transient and showed favorable clinical outcomes. However, the incidence of DW-MR abnormalities was higher in older patients, along with unpredictable thromboembolic events on DW-MR images. Thus, in order to provide adequate and timely treatment and to minimize neurological sequelae, a routine DW-MR follow-up after coil embolization of cerebral aneurysms might be helpful, especially in older patients.


Cerebral aneurysm; Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging; Embolization; Thromboembolism

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