Object. Revascularization is an important component of treatment for complex aneurysms that require parent vessel occlusion, skull base tumors that involve major vessels, and certain ischemic diseases. In this study, the authors examined the microsurgical anatomy of cerebral revascularization in the anterior circulation by demonstrating various procedures for bypass surgery.
Methods. Twenty-five adult cadaveric specimens were studied, using 3 to 40 magnification, after the arteries and veins had been perfused with colored silicone. The microsurgical anatomy of cerebral revascularization in the anterior circulation was examined with the focus on the donor, recipient, and graft vessels. The techniques discussed in this paper include the superficial temporal artery (STA)—middle cerebral artery (MCA), middle meningeal artery (MMA)—MCA, and side-to-side anastomoses; short arterial and venous interposition grafting; and external carotid artery/internal carotid artery (ICA)—M2 and ICA—ICA bypasses. Bypass procedures for cerebral revascularization are divided into two categories depending on their flow volume: low-flow and high-flow bypasses. A low-flow bypass, such as the STA—MCA anastomosis, is used to cover a relatively small area, whereas a high-flow bypass, such as the ICA—ICA anastomosis, is used for larger areas. Cerebral revascularization techniques are also divided into two types depending on the graft materials: pedicled arterial grafts, such as STA and occipital artery grafts, and free venous or arterial grafts, which are usually saphenous vein and radial artery grafts. Pedicled arterial grafts are mainly used for low-flow bypasses, whereas venous or arterial grafts are used for high-flow bypasses.
Conclusions. It is important to understand the methods of bypass procedures and to consider indications in which cerebral revascularization is needed.