Background Recent reports have revealed a worsening of aneurysm occlusion between WEB treatment baseline and angiographic follow-up due to “compression” of the device. Objective We utilized computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in order to determine whether the underlying mechanism of this worsening is flow related. Methods We included data from all consecutive patients treated in our institution with a WEB for unruptured aneurysms located either at the middle cerebral artery or basilar tip. The CFD study was performed using pre-operative 3D rotational angiography. From digital subtraction follow-up angiographies patients were dichotomized into two groups: one with WEB “compression” and one without. We performed statistical analyses to determine a potential correlation between WEB compression and CFD inflow ratio. Results Between July 2012 and June 2015, a total of 22 unruptured middle cerebral artery or basilar tip aneurysms were treated with a WEB device in our department. Three patients were excluded from the analysis and the mean follow-up period was 17 months. Eleven WEBs presented “compression” during follow-up. Interestingly, device “compression” was statistically correlated to the CFD inflow ratio (P = 0.018), although not to aneurysm volume, aspect ratio or neck size. Conclusion The mechanisms underlying the worsening of aneurysm occlusion in WEB-treated patients due to device compression are most likely complex as well as multifactorial. However, it is apparent from our pilot study that a high arterial inflow is, at least, partially involved. Further theoretical and animal research studies are needed to increase our understanding of this phenomenon.
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