Objective: Cardiopulmonary bypass with profound hypothermia and circulatory arrest has seen a resurgence as an adjunct technique in neurological surgery. We report our experience with this technique in treating seven complex vertebro-basilar aneurysms.
Methods: Skull base approaches were used in all cases, providing excellent exposure and minimizing brain retraction. There were six basilar artery aneurysms and one giant fusiform vertebro-basilar artery aneurysm. All aneurysms but one had an apparent neck, which could be clipped. The fusiform vertebro-basilar artery aneurysm was trapped, partially resected, and the circulation was reestablished with a saphenous vein graft from the cervical internal carotid artery to the mid-basilar artery.
Results: Five patients had an excellent outcome and two had a good outcome at one year or at latest follow up. Two of the patients showed improvement of neurological deficits which were present before the surgical intervention.
Conclusion: Applying very strict selection criteria in this small series of patients with posterior circulation aneurysms, excellent or good results were achieved using the profound hypothermic circulatory arrest technique.