Cerebral Blood Flow Measurement as an Indicator for an Indirect Revascularization Procedure for Adult Patients with Moyamoya Disease

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Some adult patients with moyamoya disease have been treated successfully by indirect revascularization alone, although surgical indications and hemodynamic changes for these patients have not been fully explored. To examine surgical indications for this procedure, we studied the regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) and angiographic findings in adult patients with moyamoya disease preoperatively and postoperatively.


On 17 hemispheric sides of 12 adult patients with moyamoya disease treated surgically with a combination of various indirect procedures, mainly by encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis, we retrospectively evaluated changes in rCBF using xenon-133 single photon emission computed tomography, angiographic collateral formation, and clinical results.


Preoperatively, the rCBF values in the cortices at the bypass site at rest and after acetazolamide loading were lower than normal. The rCBF values were significantly increased after revascularization, approaching normal, except for incomplete recovery of vascular reactivity. The extent of postoperative neovascularization from implanted tissues fed by the external carotid artery system was more developed, in parallel with the preoperative decrease in resting and loading rCBF values. One-third of the operated sides exhibiting both a low rCBF at rest and impaired vascular reactivity in the noninfarcted cortices achieved good revascularization over two-thirds of the middle cerebral artery territory, accompanied by rCBF improvement and moyamoya vessel regression. Enough potential for neovascularization in the noninfarcted cortices was indicated that the resting rCBF was lower than 50 ml/100 g per minute (below the normal value by 2 standard deviations) and did not increase more than that value after loading, even in a 40-year-old patient who presented with a hemorrhage. Clinically, 11 patients (92%) had good results at the 4-year follow-up, whereas 1 patient (8%) with unsatisfactory neovascularization and a lesser extent of moyamoya vessel reduction experienced rebleeding.


We conclude that for the surgical treatment of adult patients with moyamoya disease, indirect procedures, mainly encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis, are recommended for patients with lower rCBF and no or negative vascular reactivity in the noninfarcted cortices, as well as for those who have no indication for the direct procedure. It is possible to determine these indications by a xenon-133 inhalation single photon emission computed tomographic study including an acetazolamide challenge test.

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