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Surg Neurol. 2009 Jun;71(6):649-67. doi: 10.1016/j.surneu.2009.01.028. Epub 2009 Mar 27.

Microneurosurgical management of internal carotid artery bifurcation aneurysms.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Helsinki University Central Hospital, 00260 Helsinki, Finland.



Internal carotid artery bifurcation aneurysms form 2% to 9% of all IAs. They are more frequent in younger patients than other IAs. In this article, we review the practical microsurgical anatomy, the preoperative imaging, surgical planning, and the microneurosurgical steps in the dissection and the clipping of ICAbifAs.


This review and the whole series on IAs are mainly based on the personal microneurosurgical experience of the senior author (JH) in 2 Finnish centers (Helsinki and Kuopio), which serve, without patient selection, the catchment area in Southern and Eastern Finland.


These 2 centers have treated more than 11 000 patients with IAs since 1951. In the Kuopio Cerebral Aneurysm Database of 3005 patients with 4253 IAs, 831 (28%) patients had altogether 980 ICA aneurysms, of whom 137 patients had 149 (4%) ICAbifAs. Ruptured ICAbifAs, found in 78 (52%) patients, with median size of 8 mm (range, 2-60 mm), were associated with ICH in 15 (19%) patients. Ten (7%) ICAbifAs were giant (> or = 25 mm). Multiple aneurysms were seen in 59 (43%) patients. The ICAbifAs represented 18% of all IAs ruptured before the age of 30 years.


The main difficulty in microneurosurgical management of ICAbifAs is to preserve flow in all the perforators surrounding or adherent to the aneurysm dome. This necessitates perfect surgical strategy based on preoperative knowledge of 3D angioarchitecture and proper orientation during the microsurgical dissection.

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