In select patients, extracranial-intracranial (EC-IC) bypass remains an important tool for cerebral revascularization. Traditionally, superficial temporal artery–middle cerebral artery (STA-MCA) bypass was performed using one limb of the STA only. In an attempt to augment flow and to direct flow to different ischemic areas of the brain, the authors adopted a “double-barrel” technique in which both branches of the STA are used to revascularize distinct MCA territories.
A series of consecutive double-barrel STA-MCA bypasses performed between 2010 and 2020 were reviewed. Each anastomosis was directed to augment flow to a territory most at risk based on preoperative perfusion studies, cerebral angiography, and intraoperative indocyanine green data. CT perfusion and CTA were routinely used to evaluate postoperative augmentation and graft patency. Patient perioperative outcomes, surgical complications, and modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores at the last follow-up were reported.
Forty-four patients (16 males, 28 females) successfully underwent double-barrel STA-MCA bypass on 54 cerebral hemispheres: 28 operations were for moyamoya disease, 23 for atherosclerotic disease refractory to medical therapy, 2 for complex cerebral aneurysms, and 1 for carotid occlusion as a sequela of cavernous meningioma growth. Ten patients underwent multiple operations, 9 of whom had moyamoya disease/syndrome, with the subsequent operation on the contralateral hemisphere. The average patient age at surgery was 45.1 years (range 14–73 years), with a mean follow-up time of 22.1 months. Intraoperative graft patency was confirmed in 100% of cases, and 101 (98.1%) of the 103 anastomoses with imaging follow-up were patent. Perfusion to the revascularized hemisphere was improved in 88.2% of cases. Perioperative ischemic and hemorrhagic complications occurred in 8 procedures (2 were asymptomatic), whereas remote ischemic and hemorrhagic events occurred in 7 cases. There was no mortality in the series, and the mean patient mRS scores were 1.72 at presentation and 1.15 at the last follow-up.
The high rates of intraoperative and postoperative patency support the feasibility of dual-anastomosis STA-MCA bypass for revascularization. The perioperative complication rate is not significantly different from that of single-anastomosis bypass. The functional outcomes at follow-up and perfusion improvement postoperatively support the efficacy and safety of this method as a treatment strategy.