In various disease processes, including unclippable aneurysms, a bypass to the upper posterior circulation (UPC) including the superior cerebellar artery (SCA) and posterior cerebral artery (PCA) may be needed. Various revascularization options exist, but the role of intracranial (IC) donors has not been scrutinized. The objective of this study was to evaluate the anatomical feasibility of utilizing the anterior temporal artery (ATA) for revascularization of the UPC.
ATA-SCA and ATA-PCA bypasses were performed on 14 cadaver specimens. After performing an orbitozygomatic craniotomy and opening the basal cisterns, the ATA was divided at the M3-M4 junction and mobilized to the crural cistern to complete an end-to-side bypass to the SCA and PCA. The length of the recipient artery between the anastomosis and origin was measured.
Seventeen ATAs were found. Successful anastomosis was performed in 14 (82%) of the ATAs. The anastomosis point on the PCA was 14.2 mm from its origin on the basilar artery. The SCA anastomosis point was 10.1 mm from its origin. Three ATAs did not reach the UPC region due to a common opercular origin with the middle temporal artery. The ATA-SCA bypass was also applied to the management of an incompletely coiled SCA aneurysm.
The ATA is a promising IC donor for UPC revascularization. The ATA is exposed en route to the proximal SCA and PCA through the pterional-orbitozygomatic approach. Also, the end-to-side anastomosis provides an efficient and straightforward bypass without the need to harvest a graft or perform multiple or difficult anastomoses.