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Acta Neurochir (Wien). 1999;141(1):1-11; discussion 11-2.

Profound hypothermia and circulatory arrest with skull base approaches for treatment of complex posterior circulation aneurysms.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, George Washington University Medical Center, Washington DC, USA.



Cardiopulmonary bypass with profound hypothermia and circulatory arrest has seen a resurgence as an adjunct technique in neurological surgery. We report our experience with this technique in treating seven complex vertebro-basilar aneurysms.


Skull base approaches were used in all cases, providing excellent exposure and minimizing brain retraction. There were six basilar artery aneurysms and one giant fusiform vertebro-basilar artery aneurysm. All aneurysms but one had an apparent neck, which could be clipped. The fusiform vertebro-basilar artery aneurysm was trapped, partially resected, and the circulation was reestablished with a saphenous vein graft from the cervical internal carotid artery to the mid-basilar artery.


Five patients had an excellent outcome and two had a good outcome at one year or at latest follow up. Two of the patients showed improvement of neurological deficits which were present before the surgical intervention.


Applying very strict selection criteria in this small series of patients with posterior circulation aneurysms, excellent or good results were achieved using the profound hypothermic circulatory arrest technique.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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