Intracranial-intracranial arterial by-pass for complex aneurysms

Neurosurgery 65:670–683, 2009 DOI: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000348557.11968.F1

OBJECTIVE: Bypass surgery for brain aneurysms is evolving from extracranial-intracranial
(EC-IC) to intracranial-intracranial (IC-IC) bypasses that reanastomose parent arteries,
revascularize efferent branches with in situ donor arteries or reimplantation, and reconstruct bifurcated anatomy with grafts that are entirely intracranial. We compared results with these newer IC-IC bypasses to conventional EC-IC bypasses.
METHODS: During a 10-year period, 82 patients underwent bypass surgery as part of their aneurysm management. A quarter of the patients presented with ruptured aneurysms and two-thirds presented with compressive symptoms from unruptured aneurysms. Most aneurysms (82%) had non-saccular morphology and 56% were giant sized. Common locations included the cavernous internal carotid artery (23%), middle cerebral artery (20%), and posteroinferior cerebellar artery (12%).
RESULTS: Forty-seven patients (57%) received EC-IC bypasses and 35 patients (43%)received IC-IC bypasses, including 9 in situ bypasses, 6 reimplantations, 11 reanastomoses, and 9 intracranial grafts. Aneurysm obliteration rates were comparable in ECIC and IC-IC bypass groups (97.9% and 97.1%, respectively), as were bypass patency rates (94% and 89%, respectively). Three patients died (surgical mortality, 3.7%), and 4 patients were permanently worse as a result of bypass occlusions (neurological morbidity,4.9%). At late follow-up (mean duration, 41 months), good outcomes (Glasgow Outcome Scale score 5 or 4) were measured in 68 patients (90%) overall, and were similar in EC-IC and IC-IC bypass groups (91% and 89%, respectively). Changes in Glasgow Outcome Scale score were slightly more favorable with IC-IC bypass (6% worse or dead after IC-IC bypass versus 14% with EC-IC bypass).
CONCLUSION: IC-IC bypasses compare favorably to EC-IC bypasses in terms of aneurysm obliteration rates, bypass patency rates, and neurological outcomes. IC-IC bypasses can be more technically challenging to perform, but they do not require harvest of extracranial donor arteries, spare patients a neck incision, shorten interposition grafts, are protected inside the cranium, use caliber-matched donor and recipient arteries, and are not associated with ischemic complications during temporary arterial occlusions. IC-IC bypass can replace conventional EC-IC bypass with more anatomic reconstructions for selected aneurysms involving the middle cerebral artery, posteroinferior cerebellar artery, anterior cerebral artery, and basilar apex.