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Northwestern study compares endovascular brain aneurysm repair devices
Date:4/3/2012

g or leaking and destroying the aneurysm.

"Coils are not always able to fill the aneurysm completely, which leaves dead space in the aneurysm. This space has been associated with a higher rate of aneurysm recurrence," explained Bendok. "The new coils are made with platinum and a hydrogel that expands over time to eliminate the space between the coils, potentially limiting the need for future treatment."

HEAT is an international randomized study that seeks to determine how the gel packed coils measure up to the standard option in preventing future aneurysm recurrence. Northwestern is the lead site for the trial. Patients may be eligible for the trial if they are between the ages of 18 and 75 years with aneurysms 3 to 14mm in size, amenable to coiling. An estimated 30 sites around the world are expected to join the trial which has an enrollment goal of 600 participants.

On average aneurysms impact about one percent of the adult population. Understanding symptoms and risk factors can be potentially lifesaving. Small aneurysms may not be associated with symptoms, but a larger, growing aneurysm may cause pressure on tissues and nerves, leading to symptoms including headache, pain above and behind the eye, a dilated pupil, double vision, and weakness, numbness or paralysis on one side of face or body.

"In many cases, brain aneurysms remain silent until there's a major problem," said Bendok. "Most are not found until they rupture or are found incidentally on brain images taken to assess another condition. The number one sign to look for is a sudden and extremely severe headache. If this occurs, one should seek immediate medical attention."

Other indicators that a person may have a ruptured aneurysm include double vision, nausea, vomiting, stroke-like symptoms, stiff neck, loss of consciousness and in some cases, seizure and changes in memory. Risk factors include hypertension, alcohol and drug abuse, and smoking. Aneurysms
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Contact: Megan McCann
memccann@nmh.org
312-926-5900
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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