In Vitro Assessment of Aortic Stent-Graft Integrity following Exposure to Onyx Liquid Embolic Agent

James R. Stone, Avery J. Evans, John F. Angle, Bulent Arslan, Ulku C. Turba, Alan H. Matsumoto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: Endovascular stent-grafts are increasingly being used for treatment of abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysms. Postprocedural complications include development of endoleaks. Recently, an embolic agent known as Onyx has been employed to treat type II endoleaks. Onyx is a biocompatible copolymer dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). Although DMSO is known to damage some angiographic catheters, little is known concerning whether this compound damages stent-graft material. The current study was undertaken to directly explore this issue. Materials and Methods: Four stent-grafts were evaluated: the Excluder, Zenith, AneuRx, and Talent. Stent-grafts were incubated for 24 hours at 37°C under each of the following conditions: DMSO alone, 50/50 mixture of DMSO/Onyx, mixture of 1 part 50/50 DMSO/Onyx and 9 parts whole blood, and untreated control. Stent-grafts were microdissected into 15-mm sections, after which they were evaluated with scanning electron microscopy. Results: No appreciable differences between stent-grafts exposed to DMSO and untreated controls were seen. Although liquid embolic agent was seen coating stent-grafts exposed to a 50/50 mixture of DMSO and Onyx, no evidence of fiber breakdown was noted. Stent-grafts exposed to DMSO/Onyx/whole blood demonstrated a thin coating of clot and Onyx without visual evidence of fiber compromise. Conclusions: The current study provides compelling evidence that short-term exposure of endograft material to DMSO, DMSO/Onyx, or DMSO/Onyx/whole blood is not associated with acute structural compromise of four commonly used aortic endografts. Future in vivo studies will help to further establish the safety of this agent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-112
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


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