Foreign body emboli following cerebrovascular interventions: Clinical, radiographic, and histopathologic features

M. Shapiro*, M. D. Ollenschleger, C. Baccin, T. Becske, G. R. Spiegel, Y. Wang, X. Song, E. Raz, D. Zumofen, M. B. Potts, P. K. Nelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Foreign material emboli following cerebral, cardiac, and peripheral catheterizations have been reported since the mid-1990s. Catheter coatings have been frequently implicated. The most recent surge of interest in this phenomenon within the neurointerventional community is associated with procedures using flow-diversion devices for the treatment of cerebral aneurysms. Following coil-supported Pipeline embolization in 4 cases and stent-supported coiling in 1, 5 patients developed multiple subcentimeter enhancing lesions, usually with surrounding edema and variable magnetic susceptibility in the vascular territories of the treated aneurysms. Conventional angiography findings were unrevealing. Laboratory work-up showed mild CSF protein elevation with no leukocytosis. Brain biopsy in 2 cases revealed granulomatous angiitis encasing foreign material, identical in stain appearance to a polyvinylpyrrolidone catheter coating. Corticosteroid administration typically produced clinical improvement. A heterogeneous radiographic and clinical course was noted, with rise and fall in the number of enhancing lesions in 2 patients and persistence in others. The etiology may be related to widespread adoption of increasingly sophisticated catheterization techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2121-2126
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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