Large cohort analysis concerning intracerebral bypass patency in patients with long-term follow-up (FU) results is rarely reported in the literature. The authors analyzed the long-term patency of extracranial-to-intracranial (EC-IC) and intracranial-to-intracranial (IC-IC) bypass procedures.
All intracranial bypass procedures performed between 1997 and 2017 by a single surgeon were screened. Patients with postoperative imaging (CT angiography, MR angiography, or catheter angiography) were included and grouped into immediate (< 7 days), short-term (7 days–1 year), and long-term (> 1 year) FU groups. Data on patient demographics, bypass type, interposition graft type, bypass indication, and radiological patency were collected and analyzed with univariate and multivariate (adjusted multiple regression) models.
In total, 430 consecutive bypass procedures were performed during the study period (FU time [mean ± SD] 0.9 ± 2.2 years, range 0–17 years). Twelve cases were occluded at FU imaging, resulting in an overall cumulative patency rate of 97%. All bypass occlusions occurred within a week of revascularization. All patients in the short-term FU group (n = 76, mean FU time 0.3 ± 0.3 years) and long-term FU group (n = 89, mean FU time 4.1 ± 3.5 years) had patent bypasses at last FU. Patients who presented with aneurysms had a lower rate of patency than those with moyamoya disease or chronic vessel occlusion (p = 0.029). Low-flow bypasses had a significantly higher patency rate than high-flow bypasses (p = 0.033). In addition, bypasses with one anastomosis site compared to two anastomosis sites showed a significantly higher bypass patency (p = 0.005). No differences were seen in the patency rate among different grafts, single versus bilateral, or between EC-IC and IC-IC bypasses.
The overall bypass patency of 97% indicates a high likelihood of success with microsurgical revascularization. Surgical indication (ischemia), low-flow bypass, and number of anastomosis (one site) were associated with higher patency rates. EC-IC and IC-IC bypasses have comparable patency rates, supporting the use of intracranial reconstructive techniques. Bypasses that remain patent 1 week postoperatively and have the opportunity to mature have a high likelihood of remaining patent in the long term. In experienced hands, cerebral revascularization is a durable treatment option with high patency rates.