Brain aneurysms, or weakened areas of blood vessels that bulge out, are potentially life-threatening for patients. If these weakened blood vessels burst, blood flow to the brain is disrupted and blood pools into areas of the brain. In 40 percent of patients, a ruptured aneurysm leads to death.

At WVU Medicine, our neurointerventional radiologists provide preventive and emergency care for aneurysms. We use advanced neuroimaging and endovascular procedures to help hundreds of patients each year.

Our neurointeventional team is available at all times to assist patients who have experienced a ruptured aneurysm. We use evidence-based protocols to provide care as quickly as possible, improving patient outcomes.

Advanced Aneurysm Treatment

Our physicians have played a key role in national clinical trials and research, helping evaluate and develop more effective procedures and devices to treat aneurysms. Our neurointerventional services offer comprehensive minimally invasive treatment options that result in quick care and quick recoveries.

During neurointerventional procedures, our physicians use advanced high-definition, real-time X-rays to guide specialized tools through a small incision in the groin, through the arteries and blood vessels and into the brain. Our experienced neurointerventional radiologists use different techniques to block blood flow to the aneurysm in order to prevent an aneurysm rupture or stop bleeding in an emergency situation.

Endovascular coiling

Endovascular coiling uses microscopic platinum coils to create a blood clot in the aneurysm, cutting it off from other blood flow. This procedure can prevent an aneurysm from rupturing in the future or stop an aneurysm from bleeding after it has ruptured.

After an elective, non-emergent procedure, patients can go home the next day and quickly return to their daily activities. In emergency situations, the patient may remain at the hospital longer depending on the extent of their recovery. In either situation, clinical trials have shown that endovascular coiling leads to better patient outcomes than traditional open brain surgery to clip aneurysms.

Intracranial ballooning and stenting

In some cases, physicians also use balloons and stents when placing endovascular coils to treat aneurysms. Stents, which are implanted permanently, can help keep the coils in place, acting as flexible support systems. Balloons, which are temporarily inflated in the blood vessel, help remodel the shape of the blood vessel to better position the coils.

Flow diversion

Flow diversion is one of the newest treatments for aneurysms. WVU Medicine’s J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital is one of a small number of hospitals thatoffer this treatment. During this procedure, the physician inserts a special device, called a flow diverter, into the blood vessel that prevents blood from flowing to the aneurysm. The flow diverter is similar to a stent, but uses much finer, flexible mesh. The goal of these devices is to restore natural blood flow to the blood vessel and, over time, eliminate the aneurysm.

Dr. Boo on Aneurysm Treatment