Extracranial-intracranial bypass for ischemic cerebrovascular disease: what have we learned from the Carotid Occlusion Surgery Study?

Neurosurg Focus. 2014 Jan;36(1):E9. doi: 10.3171/2013.10.FOCUS13427.


Extracranial-intracranial (EC-IC) arterial bypass has been used in the treatment of various neurosurgical pathologies including skull base tumors requiring sacrifice of a large intracranial artery; complex intracranial aneurysms requiring trapping; and distal revascularization, moyamoya disease, and symptomatic cerebrovascular stenoocclusive disease. The latter indication has been the subject of intense investigations in several large randomized controlled trials, most recently the Carotid Occlusion Surgery Study (COSS). In the present literature review and synthesis, the authors examine the current evidence available for EC-IC arterial bypass for the treatment of ischemic cerebrovascular disease including both extracranial carotid artery occlusive disease and intracranial atherosclerotic disease. They focus particular attention on EC-IC arterial bypass for the treatment of symptomatic hemodynamic cerebral ischemia and how lessons learned from the COSS might guide future investigations into the treatment of this disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atherosclerosis / complications
  • Brain Ischemia / surgery*
  • Carotid Stenosis / surgery*
  • Cerebral Revascularization / methods*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods*