Moderate Sedation for Pipeline Embolization of Posterior Circulation Disease: Technical Note from a Single Center

Vijay M. Ravindra, Julius Griauzde, Jonathan P. Scoville, Craig J. Kilburg, D. Andrew Wilkinson, Clint Christensen, William T. Couldwell, Philipp Taussky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Flow diversion has been an important addition to endovascular neurosurgery, but its use in the posterior circulation remains controversial. Our goal is to describe the safety and efficacy of moderate sedation during flow diversion for posterior circulation lesions (aneurysms or dissecting pseudoaneurysms). Methods: The authors retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all patients who underwent placement of a Pipeline embolization device for a posterior circulation lesion using moderate sedation at a single institution from August 2012 through November 2017. Clinical data and outcomes were evaluated. Results: Fifteen consecutive patients were identified: 8 female, 7 male (mean age 52.2 ± 16.3 years, range 15–81). Eleven lesions were located in the vertebral artery, 1 in the posterior inferior cerebellar artery, 2 in the posterior cerebral artery, and 1 in the basilar artery. All patients underwent flow diversion with Pipeline embolization devices. One patient experienced an acute occlusion of the basilar artery during the procedure that required revascularization. Mean fluoroscopy time was 35.6 ± 16.5 minutes (range 15.5–75). Mean follow-up time was 12.7 ± 8.8 months (range 3–36). No patient had new neurologic deficits in the perioperative or postoperative period. Conversion to general anesthesia was not required in any case. Conclusions: Moderate sedation is safe and feasible in patients undergoing flow diversion for posterior circulation lesions. In addition, its use may allow for more rapid identification of procedural complications, facilitating emergent treatment and decreasing procedure-related morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-136
Number of pages6
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Jan 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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