The safety profile of single antiplatelet therapy with flow diverters: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Yigit Can Senol, Atakan Orscelik, Sherief Ghozy, Kobeissi Hassan, Santhosh Arul, Cem Bilgin, Ramanathan Kadirvel, David F. Kallmes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) is frequently used in treating cerebral aneurysms with flow diverters (FDs), whereas single antiplatelet therapy (SAPT) is used mostly with coated FDs and in ruptured aneurysms. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to explore the safety profile of SAPT in FDs. Methods: PubMed, Web of Science, OVID Embase, OVID Medline, and Scopus were searched to 1st November 2022. Outcomes of interest included ischemic and hemorrhagic complications, conversion to DAPTs, and in-stent stenosis rates under long-term SAPT. SAPT is divided into aspirin (ASA) vs. non-ASA group (ticagrelor or prasugrel). Subgroup analysis was performed for ruptured vs. non-ruptured aneurysms and coated vs. non-coated FDs. All data were analyzed using R software version 4.2.2. Results: Twelve studies with 240 total patients (43 patients in the ASA group and 197 patients in the non-ASA group) were included in our meta-analysis. The pooled ischemic occlusion rate was 9.8% (95% CI = 4.87−18.95: p-value = 0.09) for SAPTs. The ASA group had significantly higher ischemic complication rates compared to the non-ASA group (20.8% vs. 6.3%, respectively, p-value = 0.02). The pooled hemorrhagic complication rate was 3.5% (95% CI = 1.38−8.81: p-value > 0.99). The hemorrhagic rates of ASA group were 9.3%% (95% CI = 3.54−22.30) over the non-ASA group 2.1% (95% CI = 0.58−7.54) (p-value > 0.99). The overall in-stent stenosis rate was 2.3% (95% CI = 1.06−5.14: p-value > 0.99). The ischemic complication rates were comparable between coated vs non-coated FDs (10.7% vs. 5.5% p-value = 0.39). In stent stenosis rate were 1.9% (95% CI = 0.72−4.96) in coated FDs over 4.4% (95% CI = 1.11−16.11) (p-value = 0.32). The ruptured and non-ruptured groups also showed comparable results in terms of ischemic (17.6% vs. 7.1% respectively, p-value = 0.24) and hemorrhagic complications (9.8% vs. 1.1%, respectively, p-value = 0.08). Conclusions: Flow diverter treatment under ASA monotherapy resulted in relatively high ischemic complication rates. However, SAPT with prasugrel or ticagrelor monotherapy is promising for coated FDs and ruptured aneurysm treatments. Given the overall small sample size and also the likely presence of known and unknown biases regarding choice of antiplatelet therapy between groups, larger cohort studies are needed to evaluate SAPT treatment outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInterventional Neuroradiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • anti-platelet
  • aspirin
  • Flow diverter
  • prasugrel
  • ticagrelor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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