Flow Diversion for Intracranial Aneurysms: A Review Topical Review
The introduction of flow diverters for treatment of intracranial aneurysms represents a major paradigm shift in the treatment of these lesions. The theoretical hallmark of flow diverters is the treatment of the diseased segment harboring the aneurysm instead of treating the aneurysm itself. Flow diverters are designed to induce disruption of flow near the aneurysm neck while preserving flow into parent vessel and adjacent branches. After flow diversion, intra-aneurysmal thrombosis occurs, followed by shrinkage of the aneurysmal sac as the thrombus organizes and retracts. Preliminary clinical series document effective treatment of wide-neck and/or large and giant aneurysms with acceptable complication rates. However, several questions remain unanswered related to the incidence and mechanisms of aneurysm rupture after treatment with flow diverters, fate of small perforating vessels, and long-term patency rates.