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Julius Dengler, Naoki Kato and Peter Vajkoczy

Large and giant anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysms usually show partial thrombosis and incorporate both the A1 and A2 segments and crucial perforating vessels. Therefore, direct clip placement or endovascular strategies often fail, leaving cerebral bypass surgery as a relevant therapeutic option. The authors present 3 cases in which a giant or large ACoA aneurysm was successfully occluded using a new technique that applies a double-barrel radial artery bypass. A radial artery graft is modified into a Y-shaped double-barrel conduit. After both pterional and parasagittal craniotomies are carried out, the graft is tunneled between both sites and anastomosed in an end-to-side fashion proximally to either a superficial temporal artery (STA) or M2 branch and distally to bilateral A3 branches. Aneurysm occlusion is then conducted through the pterional or parasagittal craniotomy. In one case, a 42-year-old patient in whom an endovascular approach had failed, the authors performed an STA-A3-A3 bypass and proximal aneurysm occlusion. In two others, a 49-year-old man in whom coiling had failed and a 56-year-old man in whom a giant ACoA aneurysm was partially thrombosed, the authors performed an M2-A3-A3 double-barrel bypass followed by either proximal or distal aneurysm occlusion. Complete aneurysm occlusion with excellent bypass perfusion was documented in the first two cases. In the third case, the authors observed good bypass perfusion with persistent antegrade aneurysm filling, and thus endovascular coil embolization was added to completely occlude the aneurysm.

The Y-shaped double-barrel bypass using a radial artery graft allows for safe and effective occlusion of large and giant ACoA aneurysms that cannot be treated by direct clip application.

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Julius Dengler, Mario Cabraja, Katharina Faust, Thomas Picht, Theodoros Kombos and Peter Vajkoczy

Object

Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) represents an established tool in neurosurgery to increase patient safety. Its application, however, is controversial. Its use has been described as helpful in avoiding neurological deterioration during intracranial aneurysm surgery. Its impact on extracranial-intracranial (EC-IC) bypass surgery involving parent artery occlusion for the treatment of complex aneurysms has not yet been studied. The authors therefore sought to evaluate the effects of IONM on patient safety, the surgeon's intraoperative strategies, and functional outcome of patients after cerebral bypass surgery. Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring results were compared with those of intraoperative blood flow monitoring to assess bypass graft perfusion.

Methods

Compound motor action potentials (CMAPs) were generated using transcranial electrical stimulation in patients undergoing EC-IC bypass surgery. Preoperative and postoperative motor function was analyzed. To assess graft function, intraoperative flowmetry and indocyanine green fluorescence angiography were performed. Special care was taken to compare the relevance of electrophysiological and blood flow monitoring in the detection of critical intraoperative ischemic episodes.

Results

The study included 31 patients with 31 aneurysms and 1 bilateral occlusion of the internal carotid arteries, undergoing 32 EC-IC bypass surgeries in which radial artery or saphenous vein grafts were used. In 11 cases, 15 CMAP events were observed, helping the surgeon to determine the source of deterioration and to react to it: 14 were reversible and only 1 showed no recovery. In all cases, blood flow monitoring showed good perfusion of the bypass grafts. There were no false-negative results in this series. New postoperative motor deficits were transient in 1 case, permanent in 1 case, and not present in all other cases.

Conclusions

Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring is a helpful tool for continuous functional monitoring of patients undergoing large-caliber vessel EC-IC bypass surgery. The authors' results suggest that continuous neurophysiological monitoring during EC-IC bypass surgery has relevant advantages over flow-oriented monitoring techniques such as intraoperative flowmetry or indocyanine green–based angiography.

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Pavlina Lenga, Christian Hohaus, Bujung Hong, Adisa Kursumovic, Nicolai Maldaner, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Philippe Bijlenga, Daniel A. Rüfenacht, Nils O. Schmidt, Peter Vajkoczy and Julius Dengler

OBJECTIVE

Giant posterior circulation aneurysms (GPCirAs) usually cause substantial mass effect on the brainstem, which may lead to neurological deficits. So far, there has been no systematic investigation of factors associated with such deficits in GPCirA. The authors aim to examine the risk factors for cranial nerve deficit (CND), motor deficit, and disability in patients with GPCirA.

METHODS

Using MR images obtained in 30 patients with unruptured GPCirA, the authors examined GPCirA volume, presence of hydrocephalus or partial thrombosis (PT) of the aneurysm, and the degree of brainstem displacement measured by the distance between the McRae line and the tip of the GPCirA (∆MT). They evaluated associations between these factors and neurological deficits.

RESULTS

Thirty GPCirAs in 30 patients were included. The prevalence of CNDs was 50%. Patients with CNDs significantly differed from those without CNDs in terms of age (mean 51.0 years [SD 15.0 years] vs 69.0 years [SD 21.0 years], p = 0.01) and in ∆MT (median 50.7 mm [IQR 39.2–53.9 mm] vs 39.0 mm [IQR 32.3–45.9 mm], p = 0.02). The prevalence of motor deficits was 33.3%. Patients with motor deficits showed a larger ∆MT (median 50.5 mm [IQR 40.8–54.6 mm]) compared with those without (∆MT: median 39.1 mm [IQR 32.8–50.5 mm], p = 0.04). GPCirA volume was larger in patients with poor modified Rankin Scale (mRS) scores (median 14.9 cm3 [IQR 8.6–18.7 cm3]) than in those with mRS scores of 0–2 (median 6.8 cm3 [IQR 4.4–11.7 cm3], p = 0.03). After adjusting for patient age and the occurrence of hydrocephalus or PT, the authors found that higher degrees of disability were significantly associated with aneurysm volume (OR 1.13, 95% CI 1.0–1.3; p = 0.04), but not with ∆MT. The occurrence of CND or motor deficit was not associated with any of the examined variables. There was no correlation between GPCirA volume and ∆MT (rs = 0.01, p = 0.96). The prevalence of neurological deficits did not differ between GPCirA at the basilar apex, the basilar trunk, the vertebrobasilar junction, or the vertebral artery.

CONCLUSIONS

In this study, the neurological condition of the patients was associated only with GPCirA volume and not with the degree of brainstem displacement, the occurrence of PT or hydrocephalus, or the exact location of the GPCirA. These findings highlight the clinical relevance of GPCirA volume and suggest that factors such as brainstem displacement or PT should play less of a role when finding arguments for or against treatment of GPCirA.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT02066493 (clinicaltrials.gov)

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Julius Dengler, Nicolai Maldaner, Philippe Bijlenga, Jan-Karl Burkhardt, Alexander Graewe, Susanne Guhl, Bujung Hong, Christian Hohaus, Adisa Kursumovic, Dorothee Mielke, Karl-Michael Schebesch, Maria Wostrack, Daniel Rufenacht, Peter Vajkoczy, Nils Ole Schmidt and Giant Intracranial Aneurysm Study Group

OBJECT

The underlying mechanisms causing intracranial perianeurysmal edema (PAE) are still poorly understood. Since PAE is most frequently observed in giant intracranial aneurysms (GIAs), the authors designed a study to examine the occurrence of PAE in relation to the location, size, and partial thrombosis (PT) of GIAs along with the clinical impact of PAE.

METHODS

Magnetic resonance imaging data for patients with a diagnosis of unruptured GIA from the international multicenter Giant Intracranial Aneurysm Registry were retrospectively analyzed with regard to location and size of the GIA, PAE volume, and the presence of PT. The occurrence of PAE was correlated to clinical findings.

RESULTS

Imaging data for 69 GIAs were eligible for inclusion in this study. Perianeurysmal edema was observed in 33.3% of all cases, with the highest frequency in GIAs of the middle cerebral artery (MCA; 68.8%) and the lowest frequency in GIAs of the cavernous internal carotid artery (ICA; 0.0%). Independent predictors of PAE formation were GIA volume (OR 1.13, p = 0.02) and the occurrence of PT (OR 9.84, p = 0.04). Giant intracranial aneurysm location did not predict PAE occurrence. Giant aneurysms with PAE were larger than GIAs without PAE (p < 0.01), and GIA volume correlated with PAE volume (rs = 0.51, p = 0.01). Perianeurysmal edema had no influence on the modified Rankin Scale score (p = 0.30 or the occurrence of aphasia (p = 0.61) or hemiparesis (p = 0.82).

CONCLUSIONS

Perianeurysmal edema was associated with GIA size and the presence of PT. As no PAE was observed in cavernous ICA aneurysms, even though they exerted mass effect on the brain and also displayed PT, the dura mater may serve as a barrier protecting the brain from PAE formation.