OBJECTIVE: To identify anatomic parameters based on imaging that would favor a contralateral approach.
METHODS: From January 1998 to December 2013, we retrospectively identified 173 patients with bilateral intracranial aneurysms. Fifty-one patients had bilateral MCA aneurysms. A total of 38 patients underwent a single craniotomy with a contralateral microsurgical approach (group 1 or contralateral group) and 13 patients underwent bilateral craniotomies (group 2 or bilateral group). For both groups, we analyzed aneurysm characteristics, morphology, size, projections, and distance to the contralateral corridor, as well as surgical time, outcome, and postoperative complications.
RESULTS: All aneurysms approached contralaterally were unruptured and without wall calcifications. Of the contralaterally approached aneurysms, 97% were smaller than 14 mm. The median length of the contralateral A1 was 13.2 mm (range: 6-19.8 mm) and the median length of the contralateral M1 was 14.2 mm (range: 4.6-21 mm). The contralateral group had a good postoperative outcome (modified Rankin Scale 0-3) in 80% of ruptured cases and 86% of unruptured cases. The median surgical time was 120 minutes (range: 75-255 minutes), 43% shorter than the bilateral group.
CONCLUSION: The contralateral approach for bilateral MCA aneurysms in select patients is feasible in experienced hands, with acceptable morbidity and mortality. The contralateral approach requires a meticulous preoperative analysis of the characteristics of the aneurysms to be clipped and of the anatomic constraints of the microsurgical operative corridor.
From: Contralateral Approach to Bilateral Middle Cerebral Artery Aneurysms: Comparative Study, Angiographic Analysis, and Surgical Results by Andrade-Barazarte et al.
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