Extracranial-intracranial saphenous vein bypass for carotid or vertebral artery dissections: a report of six cases

Michael K. MorganDepartment of Neurosurgery, Royal North Shore Hospital, and Department of Surgery, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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Lali H. S. SekhonDepartment of Neurosurgery, Royal North Shore Hospital, and Department of Surgery, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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✓ The management of carotid or vertebral artery dissections has generally been either conservative (with anticoagulation) or surgical (by proximal ligation or trapping procedures). However, identification and management of those patients with a high risk of stroke recurrence have been difficult. Six patients with carotid or vertebral artery dissections underwent a total of seven surgical procedures involving intracranial interpositional saphenous vein bypass grafts anastomosed distally beyond the point of dissection with trapping of the intermediate diseased section of the artery. It is suggested that this procedure be used in patients who have bilateral carotid or vertebral artery disease, persistent angiographic abnormalities (particularly aneurysms), or recurring ischemic events while undergoing anticoagulation therapy, or in whom anticoagulation is undesirable. This procedure has benefits over current surgical options because of the maintenance of high flow, the avoidance of abnormal watershed areas of flow, and the elimination of the risk of emboli. The procedure is compared to previous techniques of extracranial-intracranial bypass.

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