Double-Barrel Superficial Temporal Artery-Middle Cerebral Artery Bypass: Can It Be Considered “High-Flow?”

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BACKGROUND:Traditionally, superficial temporal artery-middle cerebral artery (STA-MCA) bypass uses one STA branch. Its augmentation of flow has classically been described as “low flow.” In a double-barrel STA-MCA bypass, however, both branches of the STA are utilized. Here we hypothesize that this should not be considered “low flow.”OBJECTIVE:To review quantitative flow data from our cases and investigate the impact of double-barrel STA-MCA bypass on total flow augmentation, and to assess whether double-barrel STA-MCA bypass might be useful in situations that traditionally demand more complex bypass strategies.METHODS:Intraoperative flow probe measurements from STA-MCA bypass cases were retrospectively tabulated and compared. Cut flow and bypass flow measurements were, respectively, taken before and after completion of anastomoses. The higher value was labeled best observed flow (BOF).RESULTS:We identified 21 STA-MCA bypass cases with available intraoperative flow probe measurements, of which 17 utilized double-barrel technique. Only 1 STA branch was available in 4 cases. Significantly higher average BOF was seen when utilizing 2 STA branches (69 vs 39 cc/min, P < .001). A majority (9/17) of double-barrel bypasses provided BOF ≥ 65 cc/min (120 cc/min maximum). The single branch bypass maximum BOF was 40 cc/min.CONCLUSION:Double-barrel bypass technique significantly enhances STA-MCA flow capacity and may be useful in situations in which a high-flow bypass is needed. The 2 efferent limbs allow flexibility in distributing flow across separate at-risk territories. The method compares favorably to other descriptions of high-flow bypass without the morbidity of graft harvest or an additional cervical incision.

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