THURSDAY, Sept. 1, 2005 (HealthDay News) -- Brain aneurysms are often fatal, but a new study shows that blocking them with platinum coils could improve patients' chances for long-term survival better than invasive brain surgery.
"This will save about 74 patients in 1,000 from death or disability, reducing the risk of death or disability by 24 percent," lead researcher Andrew Molyneux, a neuroradiologist at the University of Oxford, said in a prepared statement.
Traditional treatment for brain aneurysm involves invasive surgery and a "clipping" of the aneurysm to prevent bleeding. But the newer, coiling technique is performed via a tiny puncture inserted in a blood vessel near the groin.
Reporting in the Sept. 3 issue of The Lancet, his team found that more patients who received traditional neurosurgical treatment died or were incapacitated than those who receiving treatment through the minimally invasive coiling technique -- 30.9 percent compared with 23.5 percent, respectively.
Patients treated through coils also had a much lower risk of seizures than patients undergoing standard treatment.
The findings came from the completion of the International Subarachnoid Aneuryism Trial, a study of more than 2,143 aneurysm patients at 42 centers in Europe, North America and Australia.
In 2002, that trial was stopped early because it showed that coiling was more likely to result in survival without disability.
"The complete one-year data from ISAT confirm and reinforce our preliminary findings," Molyneux said.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about aneurysms.