BACKGROUND: The excimer laser-assisted nonocclusive anastomosis (ELANA) technique enables large-caliber bypass revascularization without temporary occlusion of the parent artery. OBJECTIVE: To present the surgical experience of 2 bypass centers using ELANA in the treatment of complex intracranial lesions. METHODS: Between July 2002 and December 2007, 64 consecutive patients (37 in Germany and 27 in Finland) were selected for high-flow bypass surgery with ELANA. Modified Rankin Scale, a bypass success rate, and the success rate of the laser arteriotomy were assessed. RESULTS: In 66 surgeries for 64 intent-to-treat patients, 58 ELANA procedures were completed successfully. A favorable outcome (postoperative modified Rankin Scale score less than or equal to preoperative modified Rankin Scale) at 3 months was achieved in 43 of 56 patients (77%) with anterior circulation lesions (37 of the 43 patients had aneurysms, 4 had ischemia, and 2 received a bypass before tumor removal) and only in 2 of 8 patients (25%) with posterior circulation aneurysms. Perioperative (< 7 days) mortality for anterior and posterior circulation aneurysms was 6% and 50%, respectively. At the 3-month follow-up, 12% and 63% of patients with anterior and posterior circulation aneurysms, respectively, were dead. The success rate of the laser arteriotomy was 70%. Another 14% were retrieved manually after a nearly complete laser arteriotomy. CONCLUSION: The ELANA procedure requires a meticulous and careful operative technique. Morbidity and especially mortality rates, usually unrelated to ELANA, are comparable to those of contemporary series of conventional high-flow revascularization operations. This underscores the overall complexity of treating neurovascular pathologies by high-flow bypasses.
- Excimer laser
- Nonocclusive bypass