Mathkour M, Werner C, Scullen T, Fennell VS, Nerva J, Amenta PS, Iwanaga J, Dumont AS, Bui CJ, Mortazavi MM, Hur MS, Tubbs RS
Extracranial-intracranial bypass has been shown to be effective in the surgical treatment of moyamoya disease, complex aneurysms, and tumors that involve proximal vasculature in carefully selected patients. Branches of the superficial temporal artery (STA) are used commonly for the bypass surgery; however, an appropriate length of the donor vessel must be harvested to avoid failure secondary to anastomotic tension. The goal of this cadaveric study was to investigate quantitatively operative techniques that can increase the STA length available to facilitate tension-free STA-middle cerebral artery (MCA) bypass. We conducted a cadaveric study using a total of 16 sides in eight cadavers. Measurements of the STA trunk with its frontal branch (STAfb) were taken before and after skeletonization and detethering of the STA with the STAfb and mobilization of the parietal branch of the STA. A final measurement of the STA with the STAfb was taken for the free length gained toward visible proximal cortical branches of the MCA. Paired student's t-tests were used to compare the mean length before and after mobilization and unpaired t-tests to analyze according to laterality. The mean length of the STA with the STAfb was 9.0 cm prior to modification. After skeletonization and mobilization, the mean lengths increased significantly to 10.5 and 11.3 cm, respectively (p < 0.05). Especially in the cases that had the coiled and tortuous STA, skeletonization was considerably effective to increase the length of the STA with the STAfb. After simulating a bypass by bringing the STAfb to the recipient MCA site, the mean extended length of the STA with the STAfb was 3.0 cm. There were no statistically significant differences between sides in all measurements. We report a significant increase in the mean STA length available (3.0 cm) following skeletonization and mobilization. Clinical applications of the extended length of the STA with the STAfb may facilitate tension-free STA-MCA bypasses and improve outcomes. Further studies are needed in a clinical context.