Brain Aneurysm Support Community

Coiled aneurysms- "disappear" comments

#1

I am 4 years post-burst of posterior communicating artery aneurysm with SAH.

I’ve never heard of coiled aneurysms disappearing until seeing it mentioned a couple of times here. It never even occurred to me to look for shrinking of the coiled aneurysm at follow-ups.

Are coiled aneurysms supposed to shrink and disappear even though they contain platinum coils and coagulated blood?

Thank you for reading and responding.
Jackie

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#2

I don’t know. I understood that the coils can compact so that more coils are needed. I have 21 coils and 2 stents keeping the coils in place in my annie. You have asked an interesting question. Looking forward to the responses.

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#3

I don’t believe they “disappear”. I’m five years out of SAH and it’s still there. Once on the MRA it looked like PAC-Man, other times it looked like a witch’s hat. I forgot to look the last visit, but she said it was scrunched up witch hat. My doctor uses words like “occlusion”. She has never said “it’s gone”. If it wasn’t there, where would all those coils go? I like them to stay where she put them. The coils like to pack into all those little daughter sacs mine had, which keeps the neck open.

Here’s a study on occlusion the way my doctor uses it

But at looking at the BAF and JNF, they seem to be using the word in a different context. Personally I wish everyone would use the same language even between doctors, this is seldom done. If all the medical people would agree on terminology and pass it down to the patients with the same words we would most likely be communicating better. I don’t know who gets a say in the language they choose and then who decides they want to use it a different way, but it’s done all the time.

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#4

Thank you so much for your responses to my questions. And especially for sharing the research on stability of coiled aneurysms. I read every word and printed it and saved it!

At 4 years post rupture and coiling, I felt that I should be doing something to protect my health, but I was stalled.

I am going to pursue an MRA now that I’ve read about some of their advantages over angiograms. My last angio resulted in a torn femoral artery when they removed the instruments. That left me with a bruise that covered my pelvic area and was about the size of a large pie pan (10” diameter). I’m glad to have the MRA option this time.

And yes, where would all the coils go if the aneurysm was “gone”? As you said, this is a language problem that leads to confusion. I clearly saw on the x-rays that the aneurysm I have looks just like it did at 6 months and at one- and two-years post rupture.

I do have a very small neck remnant that was not occluded at the time of coiling, and since I don’t have and don’t want a stent, it seems that doing follow-up MRAs is likely a good idea.

Thank you again for your responses. I feel so much better!

And for anyone reading this, my memory is improving even after year 4. I was initially told that if I was experiencing any deficits after 6 months, they were probably permanent. So, everyone, please don’t give up hope on improving your injured brain. Keep reading! When I came home from the hospital I could not imagine how to subtract 9 from 11. The entire concept of simple arithmetic was gone. This was a stunning

development for me since prior to the rupture I was teaching chemistry at a community college. Getting back to that level is not going to happen, but at least I can do a Sudoku puzzle again!

Too long-winded. Sorry!

Jackie

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#5

Wow! That is a lot of coils, Ida. Did you get the stents at the same time as the coiling? I can’t even remember what I asked, I think if everyone with coils needed stents. Thank you for responding and I wish you a very long life!

Jackie

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#6

I read in a different thread that your old dog saved your life! That is fantastic. My Malti-poo saved my life, too. This helps me to not get too angry with her for barking her head off, since that is what she did when I fell to the floor, unconscious and only barely breathing. My husband was on his way to bathe and go to bed after working all night, so it was only because of her persistent barking that he came to check on me first. Yay for dogs!

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#7

I couldn’t imagine life without a wet nose :slight_smile:

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#8

I was told the same six month thing. I was lucky in that I actually had a training a week or two before rupture that indicated the brain keeps healing,no matter your age. I knew from my Developmemtal Psych degree that another part of the brain can take over what was damaged. I told my Neurosurgeon she was not taking viable hope away from me, I actually knew something she didn’t roflol. I have problems with math as well, I use the credit card, not cash. I usually want to overpay. I will try to find the Psychologist’s name and his research. I believe he is from Texas.

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#9

Hi Jackie, Not everyone with coils needs stents. The stents are required if the annie is wide necked as mine was. Yes, 21 coils is a lot. And I was very fortunate that it did not rupture. I had no problem with the angiogram or the coiling/stent procedure. My doctor said that the angiogram is the gold standard for viewing annies. In March, I am scheduled for an MRI with contrasting dyes.

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#10

You’re absolutely correct Ida, angiograms are the gold standard for really seeing aneurysms. I think Jackie just got confused on MRAs and CTs.

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#11

Hi Moltroub,
Jackie here. I read an article on imaging that indicated that an MRA can reveal abnormalities that are not necessarily seen with angio. I don’t have the time now to try to figure out which article that was, but I will hope to find more time tomorrow. The author wasn’t saying that MRAs were superior in all ways, but was rather recommending that the more imaging methods used, the better the chances of finding anomalies. I think it was a very small, new aneurysm that was not visible in the angio.

During my own angio at coiling and again at the 6mo f/u, it was noted that the area around the ani was not completely visible due to something that blocked the view. I’m hoping that the MRA will see everything. I’m sorry to not be more technically sound here. I haven’t read the reports in at least a couple of years. We should all have become neurologists so we could at least understand all this information.

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#12

Same here.
Jackie

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#13

I hope you will share the results with us, Ida. I think it will be a piece of cake!
Good luck.
Jackie

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#14

Your right about being a specialist! It is difficult to navigate medical terminology when it’s not the same across the board. I have a pituitary lesion that may or may not be attached to the pituatary. It will be monitored every five years. It requires a different type of MRA to see it clearly and it has to be with contrast. But even at the same hospital, it depends upon the radiologist reading the MR on which language is put in, aargh!

I’m not sure why an angiogram wouldn’t show the Dr. what they needed to see. Thanks for clarifying! The word used in my MRA is artifact. I think it’s from the coils, but unsure. Here’s a study that explains different MR artifacts. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4340093/

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#15

Hi Moltroub,
Yes! You are right. In the angio report that stated that some parts of the brain could not be visualized, it was because of “artifacts”. When I read the report I was just sure that the artifacts were coils that didn’t stay inside the ani, or that were dropped into the blood vessel above the neck of the ani. My husband thought that the artifacts referred to the coils that were inside the ani.
It’s you two against one, so I concede defeat.
Even though you said you weren’t certain of the meaning, I do feel relieved that there probably isn’t a loose coil floating around in my brain with coagulated blood all over it, which would likely set off the blocked artery type of stroke. Thanks so much for your response.
Jackie

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#16

Moultroub,
This link to MRA “artifacts” was extremely helpful. I would not have thought to mention a metal screw that is part of my tooth implant, though if it is made of titanium it is not such a big deal. And metal threads in clothing or clothing tags can cause big problems.

Thank you so much!
Jackie

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#17

One of my MRAs had mentioned the possibility of dental artifact and I completely forgot. Thanks for the reminder! I usually have an MRA outfit, all cotton, no metal on anything and slip on shoes of some type. All to avoid the hospital gown lol

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#18

I am 5 years post op for coiling and stent of a 11mmX15mm Basilar tip aneurysm. My angio 1 year post op showed the aneurysm was gone. It is interesting as I could see the outline of where it used to be, but it had in essence, disappeared.

The explanation is that the coils do collapse with the intent to flatten the aneurysm so the coils collapsing disperses the blood in the aneurysm “balloon” and then lay flat against the stent which prevents blood flowing back in.

So yes, a successfull coil & stent surgery does make the aneurysm “disappear”.

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#19

My ruptured aneurysm occurred 31/2 years ago. I had 2 coils placed and I have never heard of them disappearing and my Dr. has never mentioned it. I will be sure to ask at my annual check-up.
The reason for my writing today is that I too had terrible recall/memory issues and it has truly improved with time. I found it to be very emotional initially, that I wasn’t able to remember even the small things. The first year was the worst, but with time you learn to compensate, figure it out and although I may still have memory lapses, it is so much better than it was 3 1/2 years ago. I too can do crossword puzzles and sudoku again. :slight_smile:

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#20

Hi Marykathryn,

I’m glad to hear from you! It was so aggravating to not be able to remember a phone number for even a few seconds four years ago, and I’m afraid even a lot more recently than that.

Do you find that you are still highly distractible? I end up with projects going on in 4 different rooms and totally forget about the ones that I’ve abandoned. This leads to a lot of unhappy surprises. I need to have notes pinned to my tops.

Thank you for responding to my post.

Jackie

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