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Eric S. Sussman, Venkatesh Madhugiri, Mario Teo, Troels H. Nielsen, Sunil V. Furtado, Arjun V. Pendharkar, Allen L. Ho, Rogelio Esparza, Tej D. Azad, Michael Zhang and Gary K. Steinberg

OBJECTIVE

Revascularization surgery is a safe and effective surgical treatment for symptomatic moyamoya disease (MMD) and has been shown to reduce the frequency of future ischemic events and improve quality of life in affected patients. The authors sought to investigate the occurrence of acute perioperative occlusion of the contralateral internal carotid artery (ICA) with contralateral stroke following revascularization surgery, a rare complication that has not been previously reported.

METHODS

This study is a retrospective review of a prospective database of a single surgeon’s series of revascularization operations in patients with MMD. From 1991 to 2016, 1446 bypasses were performed in 905 patients, 89.6% of which involved direct anastomosis of the superficial temporal artery (STA) to a distal branch of the middle cerebral artery (MCA). Demographic, surgical, and radiographic data were collected prospectively in all treated patients.

RESULTS

Symptomatic contralateral hemispheric infarcts occurred during the postoperative period in 34 cases (2.4%). Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) was performed in each of these patients. In 8 cases (0.6%), DSA during the immediate postoperative period revealed associated new occlusion of the contralateral ICA. In each of these cases, revascularization surgery involved direct anastomosis of the STA to an M4 branch of the MCA. Preoperative DSA revealed moderate (n = 1) or severe (n = 3) stenosis or occlusion (n = 4) of the ipsilateral ICA and mild (n = 2), moderate (n = 4), or severe (n = 2) stenosis of the contralateral ICA. The baseline Suzuki stage was 4 (n = 7) or 5 (n = 1). The collateral supply originated exclusively from the intracranial circulation in 4/8 patients (50%), and from both the intracranial and extracranial circulation in the remaining 50% of patients. Seven (88%) of 8 patients improved symptomatically during the acute postoperative period with induced hypertension. The modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score at discharge was worse than baseline in 7/8 patients (88%), whereas 1 patient had only minor deficits that did not affect the mRS score. At the 3-year follow-up, 3/8 patients (38%) were at their baseline mRS score or better, 1 patient had significant disability compared with preoperatively, 2 patients had died, and 1 patient was lost to follow-up. Three-year follow-up is not yet available in 1 patient.

CONCLUSIONS

Acute occlusion of the ICA on the contralateral side from an STA-MCA bypass is a rare, but potentially serious, complication of revascularization surgery for MMD. It highlights the importance of the hemodynamic interrelationships that exist between the two hemispheres, a concept that has been previously underappreciated. Induced hypertension during the acute period may provide adequate cerebral blood flow via developing collateral vessels, and good outcomes may be achieved with aggressive supportive management and expedited contralateral revascularization.

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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.