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Cornelis A. F. Tulleken, Albert van der Zwan, Willem Jan van Rooij and Lino Moreira Pereira Ramos

✓ In a patient with a giant aneurysm of the basilar artery trunk, a vein graft was interposed between the external carotid artery in the neck and the P1 segment of the posterior cerebral artery. Balloon occlusion of both vertebral arteries was performed 3 days later. The sylvian route was used for the grafting procedure and the connection to the posterior cerebral artery was made by using the excimer laser—assisted nonocclusive anastomosis technique.

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Excimer laser–assisted nonocclusive anastomosis

An emerging technology for use in the creation of intracranial–intracranial and extracranial–intracranial cerebral bypass

David J. Langer, Albert Van Der Zwan, Peter Vajkoczy, Leena Kivipelto, Tristan P. Van Doormaal and Cornelis A. F. Tulleken

Excimer laser–assisted nonocclusive anastomosis (ELANA) has been developed over the past 14 years for assistance in the creation of intracranial bypasses. The ELANA technique allows the creation of intracranial–intracranial and extracranial–intracranial bypasses without the need for temporary occlusion of the recipient artery, avoiding the inherent risk associated with occlusion time. In this review the authors discuss the technique and its indications, while reviewing the clinical results of the procedure. The technique itself is explained using cartoon drawings and intraoperative photographs. Advantages and disadvantages of the technique are also discussed.

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Eva H. Brilstra, Gabriel J. E. Rinkel, Catharina J. M. Klijn, Albert van der Zwan, Ale Algra, Rob T. H. Lo and Cornelis A. F. Tulleken

Object. If clip application or coil placement for treatment of intracranial aneurysms is not feasible, the parent vessel can be occluded to induce thrombosis of the aneurysm. The Excimer laser—assisted anastomosis technique allows the construction of a high-flow bypass in patients who cannot tolerate such an occlusion. The authors assessed the complications of this procedure and clinical outcomes after the construction of high-flow bypasses in patients with intracranial aneurysms.

Methods. Data were retrospectively collected on patient and aneurysm characteristics, procedural complications, and functional outcomes in 77 patients in whom a high-flow bypass was constructed. Logistic regression analysis was used to quantify the relationships between patient and aneurysm characteristics on the one hand and outcome measures on the other.

Fifty-one patients harbored a giant aneurysm, 24 patients suffered from a ruptured aneurysm, and 35 patients from an unruptured symptomatic aneurysm. In 22 patients (29%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 19–40%) a permanent deficit developed from an operative complication. At a median follow-up period of 2.5 months, 25 patients (32%; 95% CI 22–44%) were dependent or had died; in 10 of these patients (13% of all patients; 95% CI 6–23%) operative complications were the single cause of this poor outcome. Univariate analysis demonstrated that a poor clinical condition before treatment (odds ratio [OR] 4.7; 95% CI 1.7–13.3) and a history of cardiovascular disease (OR 4.1; 95% CI 1–16.2) increased the risk of poor outcome. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that only the clinical condition before treatment was significantly related to outcome (OR 4; 95% CI 1.3–11.9).

Conclusions. In patients with an intracranial aneurysm that cannot be treated by clip application or coil placement, and in whom occlusion of the parent artery cannot be tolerated, the construction of a high-flow bypass should be considered. This procedure carries a considerable risk of complications, but this should be weighed against the disabling or life-threatening effects of compression, the high risk of rupture, and the substantial chance of poor outcome after the rupture of such aneurysms.

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Albert van der Zwan, Berend Hillen, Cornelis A. F. Tulleken, Manuel Dujovny and Ljubisa Dragovic

✓ Recent morphological and functional studies on the circle of Willis suggest that the areas of supply of the six major cerebral arteries show a considerable variation in distribution, in contrast to the relatively consistent pattern generally accepted; therefore, the cortical and intracerebral distribution of the territories of these arteries was investigated in 25 unfixed human brains obtained at routine autopsy. The six major cerebral arteries were simultaneously injected under the same pressure with different-colored Araldite F mixtures under standardized conditions to obtain the most realistic territorial distribution. The cortical boundaries were examined and recorded in relation to the cerebral gyri and sulci, and the territories of the anterior, middle, and posterior cerebral arteries were analyzed and compared. The intracerebral distribution of these territories was investigated after the injected brains were cut in parallel slices. The variability of the territories of these arteries was much larger than generally described in the literature. Twenty-six variations in the territory of the anterior cerebral artery, 17 variations in the area of the middle cerebral artery, and 22 variations in the area of the posterior cerebral artery were found in the cortex of 50 hemispheres. Intracerebrally. the anterior, middle, and posterior cerebral arteries contributed in varying degrees to the blood supply of the lobar white matter, the internal capsule, the caudate nucleus, and the lentiform nucleus. The large variation in the area in which the cortical and intracerebral boundaries between these territories was located was demonstrated by illustrating the minimum and maximum extent of each. The results are compared with prior findings, and their implications for both experimental model studies and clinical practice are discussed.

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Annick Kronenburg, Tristan van Doormaal, Pieter van Eijsden, Albert van der Zwan, Frans Leijten and Kuo Sen Han

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive activation method that is increasingly used for motor mapping. Preoperative functional mapping in vascular surgery is not routinely performed; however, in cases of high-grade arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), it could play a role in preoperative decision making. A 16-year-old male was suffering from a giant, right-sided insular, Spetzler-Martin Grade V AVM. This patient's history included 3 hemorrhagic strokes in the past 3 years, resulting in Medical Research Council Grade 2–3 (proximal) and 2–4 (distal) paresis of the left side of the body and hydrocephalus requiring a ventriculoperitoneal shunt. Preoperative TMS showed absent contralateral innervation of the remaining left-sided motor functions. Subsequently, the AVM was completely resected without any postoperative increase of the left-sided paresis. This case shows that TMS can support decision making in AVM treatment by mapping motor functions.

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Tristan P. C. van Doormaal, Albert van der Zwan, Saskia Redegeld, Bon H. Verweij, Cornelis A. F. Tulleken and Luca Regli

Object

The purpose of this study was to assess flow, patency, and endothelialization of bypasses created with the sutureless Excimer Laser Assisted Non-occlusive Anastomosis (SELANA) technique in a pig model.

Methods

In 38 pigs, a bypass was made on the left common carotid artery (CCA), using the right CCA as a graft, with 2 SELANAs. Bypass flow was measured using single-vessel flowmetry. The pigs were randomly assigned to 1 of 12 survival groups (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 10 days; 2 and 3 weeks; and 3 and 6 months). One extra animal underwent the procedure and then was killed after 1 hour of bypass patency to serve as a control. Angiography was performed just before the animals were killed, to assess bypass patency. Scanning electron microscopy and histological studies were used to evaluate the anastomoses after planned death.

Results

The mean SELANA bypass flow was not significantly different from the mean flow in the earlier ELANA (Excimer Laser Assisted Non-occlusive Anastomosis) pig study at opening and follow-up. Overall SELANA bypass patency (87%) was not significantly different from the ELANA patency of 86% in the earlier study. Complete SELANA endothelialization was observed after 2–3 weeks, compared with 2 weeks in the earlier ELANA study.

Conclusions

The SELANA technique is not inferior to the current ELANA technique regarding flow, patency, and endothelialization. A pilot study in patients is a logical next step.

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Jochem P. Bremmer, Bon H. Verweij, Catharina J. M. Klijn, Albert van der Zwan, L. Jaap Kappelle and Cornelis A. F. Tulleken

Object

Excimer laser–assisted nonocclusive anastomosis (ELANA) is a technique that can be used for extracranial-to-intracranial (EC-IC) bypasses, without the necessity of temporary occlusion of the donor or recipient artery. Information on predictors of patency of EC-IC bypasses in general and the ELANA bypass in particular is sparse. The authors studied 159 ELANA EC-IC bypasses to find predictors of patency.

Methods

From a prospective database of patients who underwent EC-IC bypass surgery, 143 consecutive patients who underwent a total of 159 ELANA bypasses were studied. The associations of patient characteristics, surgical aspects, and technical aspects specific to the ELANA technique with intraoperative and postoperative bypass patency were studied using logistic regression analysis.

Results

At the end of the operation, 146 (92%) of the 159 bypasses were patent. A first attempt to create a bypass was almost 8 times more likely (OR 7.6, 95% CI 2.1–27.5; p = 0.02) to result in a patent bypass than a second attempt. Administration of a small amount of heparin during the operation was also associated with bypass patency (OR 5.2, 95% CI 1.1–24.9; p = 0.04). One hundred twenty-three (77%) of the 159 bypasses were functional at patency assessments during the 1st month after the operation. Older age (OR 1.043 for every year of increase in age, 95% CI 1.010–1.076; p = 0.01), male sex (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.3–6.5; p = 0.01), and high intraoperative bypass flow (OR 1.017 for every milliliter per minute increase in flow, 95% CI 1.004–1.030; p = 0.01) were associated with postoperative bypass patency.

Conclusions

Attempts to create a second EC-IC ELANA bypass after the first one are more likely to fail, whereas administration of heparin to the patient during the procedure increases the intraoperative bypass patency rate. Postoperative patency results are better in male and in older patients. Intraoperative bypass flow measurements are essential because high bypass flow is an important determinant of postoperative patency.

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Jochem P. Bremmer, Bon H. Verweij, Albert van der Zwan, Michael M. Reinert, Hendricus J. Mansvelt Beck and Cornelis A. F. Tulleken

Object

Cerebral aneurysms that cannot be treated by clip or coil placement can be treated with high-flow bypass surgery using techniques such as the excimer laser–assisted nonocclusive anastomosis (ELANA). To simplify the technique, a sutureless ELANA (SELANA) was developed in combination with an expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) graft.

Methods

In 18 rabbits a bypass was constructed on the abdominal aorta using the SELANA technique with an ePTFE graft, resulting in 18 bypasses and 36 anastomoses. Short-term effects were analyzed in the first 2 weeks and at 2 and 3 months after the procedure. Patency was evaluated using quantitative ultrasound flowmetry. The anastomotic sites were studied using scanning electron microscopy.

Results

Construction of the bypass using the SELANA technique was easier and faster (15–25 minutes) compared with bypasses made with the ELANA technique (> 90 minutes). At the end of follow-up, 16 of 18 bypasses were patent. Of 36 SELANA anastomoses, 32 could be completed without short temporary occlusion of the recipient vessel. Scanning electron microscopy showed complete coverage of all anastomoses with neointimal repair tissue after 10 days.

Conclusions

The SELANA technique provides further advantages over the conventional ELANA technique in ease of use and shortening of procedure time. The patency rate in this series was 89% and neointima repair tissue at the anastomosis site was complete after 10 days. Further experimental studies of the long-term patency and safety of this technique are necessary before clinical application.