Hydrogel coil-related delayed hydrocephalus in patients with unruptured aneurysms

Edward M. Marchan, Raymond F. Sekula, Andrew Ku, Robert Williams, Brent R. O'Neill, Jack E. Wilberger, Matthew R. Quigley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Object. Because of high recanalization rates associated with wide-necked intracranial aneurysms treated with bare platinum coils, hydrogel coils (HydroCoil, MicroVention, Inc.) have been developed. Hydrogel coils undergo progressive expansion once exposed to the physiological environment of blood and increase overall aneurysm filling. Methods. The authors retrospectively reviewed their series of patients with unruptured aneurysms treated between 1998 and 2006 and who underwent placement of bare platinum and hydrogel coils for cerebral aneurysms. They examined the incidence of delayed hydrocephalus as related to coil type. In a subgroup of patients in which preand postprocedure CT and MR imaging studies were available, the authors quantitatively analyzed the ventricular size change after hydrogel coils were placed. Results. Four of 29 patients treated with hydrogel coils developed symptomatic hydrocephalus 2-6 months after the intervention compared with 0 of 26 treated with bare platinum coils alone. The difference in ventricular size between the subgroups in which pre- and postprocedure imaging was performed was found to be statistically significant (p < 0.05). All 4 HydroCoil-treated patients in whom hydrocephalus developed required placement of a shunt. Conclusions. A 14% incidence (95% confidence interval 3.9-31.7%) of hydrocephalus in patients with unruptured aneurysm undergoing embolization with hydrogel coils was discovered. This incidence is much higher than previously reported. The mechanism by which hydrogel coils may induce hydrocephalus remains poorly understood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-190
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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