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Troels H. Nielsen, Kumar Abhinav, Eric S. Sussman, Summer S. Han, Yingjie Weng, Teresa Bell-Stephens, CNRN, Jeremy J. Heit, and Gary K. Steinberg

OBJECTIVE

The only effective treatment for ischemic moyamoya disease (iMMD) is cerebral revascularization by an extracranial to intracranial bypass. The preferred revascularization method remains controversial: direct versus indirect bypass. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that method choice should be personalized based on angiographic, hemodynamic, and clinical characteristics to balance the risk of perioperative major stroke against treatment efficacy.

METHODS

Patients with iMMD were identified retrospectively from a prospectively maintained database. Those with mild to moderate internal carotid artery or M1 segment stenosis, preserved cerebrovascular reserve, intraoperative M4 segment anterograde flow ≥ 8 ml/min, or the absence of frequent and severe transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) or stroke had been assigned to indirect bypass. The criteria for direct bypass were severe ICA or M1 segment stenosis or occlusion, impaired cerebrovascular reserve or steal phenomenon, intraoperative M4 segment retrograde flow or anterograde flow < 8 ml/min, and the presence of frequent and severe TIAs or clinical strokes. The primary study endpoint was MRI-confirmed symptomatic stroke ≤ 7 days postoperatively resulting in a decline in the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score from preoperatively to 6 months postoperatively. As a secondary endpoint, the authors assessed 6-month postoperative DSA-demonstrated revascularization, which was classified as < 1/3, 1/3–2/3, or > 2/3 of the middle cerebral artery territory.

RESULTS

One hundred thirty-eight patients with iMMD affecting 195 hemispheres revascularized in the period from March 2016 to June 2018 were included in this analysis. One hundred thirty-three hemispheres were revascularized with direct bypass and 62 with indirect bypass. The perioperative stroke rate was 4.7% and 6.8% in the direct and indirect groups, respectively (p = 0.36). Degree of revascularization was higher in the direct bypass group (p = 0.03). The proportion of patients improving to an mRS score 0–1 (from preoperatively to 6 months postoperatively) tended to be higher in the direct bypass group, although the difference between the two bypass groups was not statistically significant (p = 0.27).

CONCLUSIONS

The selective use of an indirect bypass procedure for iMMD did not decrease the perioperative stroke rate. Direct bypass provided a significantly higher degree of revascularization. The authors conclude that direct bypass is the treatment of choice for iMMD.

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Ephraim W. Church, Mark G. Bigder, Eric S. Sussman, Santosh E. Gummidipundi, Summer S. Han, Jeremy J. Heit, Huy M. Do, Robert L. Dodd, Michael P. Marks, and Gary K. Steinberg

OBJECTIVE

Perforator arteries, the absence of an aneurysm discrete neck, and the often-extensive nature of posterior circulation fusiform aneurysms present treatment challenges. There have been advances in microsurgical and endovascular approaches, including flow diversion, and the authors sought to review these treatments in a long-term series at their neurovascular referral center.

METHODS

The authors performed a retrospective chart review from 1990 to 2018. Primary outcomes were modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) scores at follow-up. The authors also examined neurological complication rates. Using regression techniques, they reviewed independent and dependent variables, including presenting features, aneurysm location and size, surgical approach, and pretreatment and posttreatment thrombosis.

RESULTS

Eighty-four patients met the inclusion criteria. Their mean age was 53 years, and 49 (58%) were female. Forty-one (49%) patients presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage. Aneurysms were located on the vertebral artery (VA) or posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) in 50 (60%) patients, basilar artery (BA) or vertebrobasilar junction (VBJ) in 22 (26%), and posterior cerebral artery (PCA) in 12 (14%). Thirty-one (37%) patients were treated with microsurgical and 53 (63%) with endovascular approaches. Six aneurysms were treated with endovascular flow diversion. The authors found moderate disability or better (mRS score ≤ 3) in 85% of the patients at a mean 14-month follow-up. The GOS score was ≥ 4 in 82% of the patients. The overall neurological complication rate was 12%. In the regression analysis, patients with VA or PICA aneurysms had better functional outcomes than the other groups (p < 0.001). Endovascular strategies were associated with better outcomes for BA-VBJ aneurysms (p < 0.01), but microsurgery was associated with better outcomes for VA-PICA and PCA aneurysms (p < 0.05). There were no other significant associations between patient, aneurysm characteristics, or treatment features and neurological complications (p > 0.05). Patients treated with flow diversion had more complications than those who underwent other endovascular and microsurgical strategies, but the difference was not significant in regression models.

CONCLUSIONS

Posterior circulation fusiform aneurysms remain a challenging aneurysm subtype, but an interdisciplinary treatment approach can result in good outcomes. While flow diversion is a useful addition to the armamentarium, traditional endovascular and microsurgical techniques continue to offer effective options.