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A Journal on Neurosurgery

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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2016 March;60(1):95-103

language: English

Prevention of ischemic complications during aneurysm surgery

Andreas RAABE, Kathleen SEIDEL

Department of Neurosurgery Inselspital, Bern University Hospital University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland


Ischemic complications during aneurysm surgery are a frequent cause of postoperative infarctions and new neurological deficits. In this article, we discuss imaging and neurophysiological tools that may help the surgeon to detect intraoperative ischemia. The strength of intraoperative digital subtraction angiography (DSA) is the full view of the arterial and venous vessel. DSA is the gold standard in complex and giant aneurysms, but due to certain disadvantages, it cannot be considered standard of care. Microvascular Doppler sonography is probably the fastest diagnostic tool and can quickly aid diagnosis of large vessel occlusions. Intraoperative indocyanine green videoangiography is the best tool to assess flow in perforating and larger arteries, as well as occlusion of the aneurysm sac. Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring with somatosensory and motor evoked potentials indirectly measures blood flow by recording neuronal function. It covers all causes of intraoperative ischemia, provided that ischemia occurs in the brain areas under surveillance. However, every method has advantages and disadvantages. No single method is superior to the others in every aspect. Therefore, it is very important for the neurosurgeon to know the strengths and weaknesses of each tool in order to have them available, to know how to use them for each individual situation, and to be ready to apply them within the time window for reversible cerebral ischemia.

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