Rescue Bypass for Revascularization After Ischemic Complications in the Treatment of Giant or Complex Intracranial Aneurysms

Giovanni Pancucci, Matthew B. Potts, Ana Rodríguez-Hernández, Hugo Andrade, LanJun Guo, Michael T. Lawton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Surgical trapping or endovascular deconstruction commonly is used for the treatment of giant or complex intracranial aneurysms. Preoperative balloon test occlusion and cerebral blood flow studies and intraoperative neurophysiologic monitoring can indicate whether sufficient collateralization exists or whether revascularization is needed. Hemodynamic insufficiency can occur, however, despite passing these tests, necessitating posttreatment revascularization. Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of patients who underwent surgical or endovascular parent vessel occlusion for the management of giant or complex intracranial aneurysms and subsequently required rescue bypass for symptoms of hemodynamic insufficiency. Pre- and postrevascularization functional status was measured with the modified Rankin Scale. Results: During a 15-year period from 1997 to 2012, a rescue bypass was performed in 5 patients each harboring a giant or complex intracranial internal carotid artery (ICA) aneurysm that was treated with surgical trapping or endovascular deconstruction in a previous procedure. All bypasses were extracranial-to-intracranial and included cervical ICA to middle cerebral artery, subclavian to middle cerebral artery, and cervical ICA to supraclinoid ICA anastomoses via either a saphenous vein or radial artery graft. Functional outcome at time of last follow-up was improved in each patient (improvement in modified Rankin Scale of 1-3 points). Conclusions: Ischemic complications must always be anticipated in the treatment of giant or complex intracranial aneurysms, even if pre- and intraoperative blood flow studies indicate sufficient collateralization. Here we show that extracranial-to-intracranial bypass is an effective option to rescue unanticipated hemodynamic insufficiency after parent vessel occlusion. This study emphasizes the need for cerebrovascular surgeons to maintain proficiency in complex bypass techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)912-920
Number of pages9
JournalWorld neurosurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Bypass surgery
  • Cerebral revascularization
  • Giant aneurysm
  • Intraoperative monitoring
  • Rescue bypass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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