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Stroke Research and Treatment
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 415653, 12 pages
Review Article

Flow Diverters for Intracranial Aneurysms

Division of Endovascular Neurosurgery, Department of Neurological Surgery, Rutgers University, New Jersey Medical School, 90 Bergen Street, Suite 8100, Newark, NJ 07101, USA

Received 1 December 2013; Accepted 29 April 2014; Published 20 May 2014

Academic Editor: Moneeb Ehtesham

Copyright © 2014 Yazan J. Alderazi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Flow diverters (pipeline embolization device, Silk flow diverter, and Surpass flow diverter) have been developed to treat intracranial aneurysms. These endovascular devices are placed within the parent artery rather than the aneurysm sac. They take advantage of altering hemodynamics at the aneurysm/parent vessel interface, resulting in gradual thrombosis of the aneurysm occurring over time. Subsequent inflammatory response, healing, and endothelial growth shrink the aneurysm and reconstruct the parent artery lumen while preserving perforators and side branches in most cases. Flow diverters have already allowed treatment of previously untreatable wide neck and giant aneurysms. There are risks with flow diverters including in-stent thrombosis, perianeurysmal edema, distant and delayed hemorrhages, and perforator occlusions. Comparative efficacy and safety against other therapies are being studied in ongoing trials. Antiplatelet therapy is mandatory with flow diverters, which has highlighted the need for better evidence for monitoring and tailoring antiplatelet therapy. In this paper we review the devices, their uses, associated complications, evidence base, and ongoing studies.