The evaluation of intracranial bypass patency in neurosurgical practice

Neurochirurgie. 2021 Apr;67(2):125-131. doi: 10.1016/j.neuchi.2020.10.001. Epub 2020 Oct 25.


Background: The patency of cranial bypasses must be carefully evaluated during and after the microsurgical procedure. Although, several imaging techniques are used to evaluate the patency of bypasses, their findings are sometimes difficult to interpret.

Purpose: The goal of this study was to assess the consistency of different diagnostic modalities for evaluating intracranial bypass patency.

Patients and method: This prospective study included 19 consecutive patients treated with EC-IC or IC-IC bypass for MoyaMoya disease (MMD) or complex/giant aneurysms between June 2016 and June 2018. In the early postoperative period (<7 days), all patients had transcranial Doppler (TCD), CT angiography (CTA) and MRA to demonstrate patency of anastomoses and to confirm exclusion of the aneurysm. When findings of anastomosis patency differed between these techniques, conventional angiography was performed.

Results: All anastomoses were patent on indocyanine green videoangiography at the end of microsurgical procedure. The results of noninvasive postoperative exams were consistent to demonstrate the patency of anastomoses in 13 patients. In 4 patients, a discrepancy in patency of anastomoses arose between TCD, CTA and MRI in the early postoperative period. In 2 other patients, the interpretation of bypass patency remained inconclusive before the decision to occlude the aneurysm. In these 6 patients, a significant edema was noted in 2 cases, a postoperative subdural hematoma in 1 case, a low flow in the anastomosis in 1 case and vasospasm in 2 cases. The anastomosis was patent on the conventional angiography in five patients.

Conclusion: Noninvasive imaging techniques provide useful data about the patency but their findings should be carefully interpreted due to local anatomical, physiological, and pathological factors. In case of discrepant findings, conventional angiography including supraselective catheterization of the donor vessel is suggested.

Keywords: Anastomose temporo-sylvienne; Aneurysm; Anévrisme; Bypass; Moya-Moya; MoyaMoya; Pontage; STA-MCA anastomosis.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anastomosis, Surgical / methods
  • Cerebral Revascularization / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Microsurgery / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Moyamoya Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Moyamoya Disease / surgery*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Transcranial / methods