Background: Advances in diagnosis of posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) aneurysms have revealed the high frequency of distal and/or dissecting PICA aneurysms. Surgical treatment of such aneurysms often requires revascularization of the PICA including but not limited to its caudal loop. Objective: To examine the microsurgical anatomy involved in occipital artery (OA)-PICA anastomosis at various anatomic segments of the PICA. Methods: Twenty-eight PICAs in 15 cadaveric heads were examined with the operating microscope to take morphometric measurements and explore the specific anatomy of bypass procedures. Results: OA bypass to the p2, p3, p4, or p5 segment was feasible with a recipient vessel of sufficient diameter. The loop wandering near the jugular foramen in the p2 segment provided sufficient length without requiring cauterization of any perforating arteries to the brainstem. Wide dissection of the cerebellomedullary fissure provided sufficient exposure for the examination of some p3 segments and all p4 segments hidden by the tonsil. OA-p5 bypass was placed at the main trunk before the bifurcation in 5 hemispheres and at the larger hemispheric trunk in others. Conclusion: Understanding the possible variations of OA-PICA bypass may enable revascularization of the appropriate portion of the PICA when the parent artery must be occluded. A detailed anatomic understanding of each segment clarifies important technical nuances for the bypass on each segment. Dissection of the cerebellomedullary fissure helps to achieve sufficient exposure for the bypass procedures on most of the segments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology