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A case of bilateral vertebral artery dissection treated by bilateral surgical occlusion and low-flow bypass.

BACKGROUND: Bilateral vertebral artery dissection aneurysm (VADA) is a rare condition that leads to severe stroke. However, the surgical strategy for its treatment is controversial because the pathology is very complicated and varies in each case. Here, we report a case of bilateral VADA that was successfully treated with staged bilateral VADA occlusion and low-flow bypass.

CASE DESCRIPTION: A Japanese man in his 40s presented with bilateral VADA with subarachnoid hemorrhage. He had only mild headaches without any other neurological deficits. Subsequently, the ruptured left VADA was surgically trapped. However, on postoperative day 11, the contralateral VADA enlarged. The right VADA was then proximally clipped via a lateral suboccipital approach. Furthermore, a superficial temporal artery-superior cerebellar artery bypass was performed through a subtemporal approach in advance to preserve cerebral flow in the posterior circulation. The bilateral VADA was obliterated, and the patient had an uneventful postoperative course during the 1-year and 6-month follow-up period.

CONCLUSION: Bilateral VADA can be successfully treated with staged bilateral VADA obstruction and low-flow bypass. In this case, as the posterior communicating arteries were the fetal type and the precommunicating segments of the posterior cerebral arteries (P1) were hypoplastic, a low-flow bypass was used to supply the basilar and cerebellar arteries, except the posterior cerebral and posterior inferior cerebellar arteries. Furthermore, low-flow bypass is a less invasive option than high-flow bypass.

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