The magnetic organization of minute particles of iron at the lesion site has been used to thrombose intracranial aneurysms.
The technique, developed by investigators at Harbor General Hospital, Torrance, Calif, and The Center for Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, uses an extravascular magnet to attract and hold in place iron particles that are injected intravascularly.
The technique was used clinically in three patients. One patient died of infection one month after operation. The thrombus partially dissolved in a second patient after removal of the magnet. The third patient was reported doing well two months after operation.
In none of these initial clinical trials was it possible to obliterate the lesion because a point was reached in each case beyond which any additional iron injected into the aneurysm escaped the magnetic field and passed into the vascular system.
Despite this inability to produce total occlusion of the clinical aneurysm,