If left untreated, hemorrhagic stroke can result in serious neurological deficits or death. Endovascular Coiling is one of the procedures offering new hope to hemorrhagic stroke patients who had been told previously that they had no further treatment options. It is also a way to treat both ruptured and unruptured aneurysms.
Hemorrhagic stroke is caused when a weakened blood vessel from an aneurysm or a condition called arteriovenous malformation, or AVM, result in a rupture that bleeds into the brain. The leaked blood puts too much pressure on brain cells, which damages them.
Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in particular are extremely difficult to diagnose, and symptoms tend to occur only after the damage they cause to the brain or spinal cord reaches a critical level. AVMs damage the brain or spinal cord through three basic mechanisms:
- By reducing the amount of oxygen reaching neurological tissues
- By causing bleeding (hemorrhage) into surrounding tissues
- By compressing or displacing parts of the brain or spinal cord
What happens during the endovascular coiling procedure?
The goal of endovascular coiling is to isolate an aneurysm or AVM from the normal blood circulation, without blocking off any small arteries nearby or narrowing the main vessel. Endovascular is a minimally invasive technique—accessing the aneurysm or AVM from within the bloodstream.
- The surgeon guides the catheter though the arterial network until the tip of the catheter reaches the site of the aneurysm or AVM.
- The surgeon then introduces a coil, made of platinum and other materials, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and coatings that promote clotting. Multiple coils are packed inside the dome to block normal blood flow from entering.
- Over time, a clot forms inside the aneurysm, effectively removing the risk of aneurysm rupture.
Call 911 if you believe you or someone else is experiencing a medical emergency.