Overview of Different Flow Diverters and Flow Dynamics

Neurosurgery 86:S21–S34, 2020

Over the past decade, flow diverter technology for endocranial aneurysms has seen rapid evolution, with the development of new devices quickly outpacing the clinical evidence base. However, flow diversion has not yet been directly compared to surgical aneurysm clipping or other endovascular procedures. The oldest and most well-studied device is the Pipeline Embolization Device (PED; Medtronic), recently transitioned to the Pipeline Flex (Medtronic), which still has sparse data regarding outcomes.

To date, other flow diverting devices have not been shown to outperform the PED, although information comes primarily from retrospective studies with short follow-up, which are not always comparable.

Because of this lack of high-quality outcome data, no reliable recommendations can be made for choosing among flow diversion devices yet. Moreover, the decision to proceed with flow diversion should be individualized to each patient.

In this work, we wish to provide a comprehensive overview of the technical specifications of all flow diverter devices currently available, accompanied by a succinct description of the evidence base surrounding each device.