BackgroundFlow diverters (FDs) are widely used in the treatment of intracranial aneurysms, but the required medication increases the risk of haemorrhagic complications and limits their use in the acute setting. Surface modified FDs may limit the need for dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT). Hydrophilic polymer coating (HPC) may reduce the need of medication.MethodsThis explorative study, approved by the local authorities and the local welfare committee, compared stent behaviour and overall tissue response between HPC-coated FDs and uncoated FDs, both implanted into the common carotid arteries of eight New Zealand white rabbits. Endothelialisation, inflammatory response, and performance during implantation were assessed. Angiographic follow-up was performed to observe the patency of the devices after implantation and after 30 days. Histological examinations were performed at 30 days to assess foreign body reaction and endothelialisation. Kruskal-Wallis and Wilcoxon tests were used to compare non-parametric variables.ResultsAngiography showed that both coated and uncoated FDs performed well during implantation. All devices remained patent during immediate follow-up and after 30 days. Histopathology showed no significant difference in inflammation within the vessel wall between the two cohorts (2.12 ± 0.75 vs. 1.96 ± 0.79, p = 0.7072). Complete endothelialisation of the stent struts was seen with very similar (0.04 ± 0.02 mm vs. 0.04 ± 0.03 mm, p = 0.892) neoendothelial thickness between the two cohorts after 30 days.ConclusionTaking into account the limitation in sample size, non-significant differences between the HPC-coated and uncoated FDs regarding implantation, foreign body response, and endothelialisation were found.