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J Neurosurg. 2011 Aug;115(2):328-36. doi: 10.3171/2011.3.JNS101908. Epub 2011 Apr 29.

Outcome of repeat revascularization surgery for moyamoya disease after an unsuccessful indirect revascularization. Clinical article.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA.



Revascularization for moyamoya disease, either by direct anastomosis or indirect procedures, is an accepted and effective form of treatment for prevention of future ischemic events. Indirect procedures do not provide sufficient collateral vessels in a subset of patients, who then have persistent or new symptoms. Repeat revascularization procedures may be recommended for these patients.


Sixteen patients underwent repeat revascularization after undergoing an indirect procedure in the same hemisphere. These patients were included in the study, and a retrospective review of their clinical details, neuroimaging results, surgical details, and outcome was performed. Direct revascularization was the procedure of choice; however, in patients with no acceptable recipient vessel (> 0.6 mm) the authors added a second indirect procedure for further revascularization.


Over the last 19 years, 16 patients (8 male and 8 female patients, age range 5-48 years, mean 16.7 years, 10 pediatric and 6 adult patients) underwent repeat revascularization for moyamoya disease. Initially all patients presented with ischemic symptoms (4 transient ischemic attacks [TIAs] and 12 strokes; 2 patients had bilateral symptoms). Angiography revealed that 13 patients had bilateral disease, and 3 had unilateral disease. Initial surgery was bilateral encephaloduroarteriosynangiosis (EDAS) in 9, unilateral EDAS alone in 3, unilateral EDAS with contralateral superficial temporal artery-middle cerebral artery (STA-MCA) bypass in 2, bilateral encephalomyosynangiosis (EMS) in 1, and unilateral EMS in 1. Thirteen of the 16 patients continued to have TIAs in the hemisphere ipsilateral to surgery, whereas 1 patient had seizures and cognitive deficit, 1 had asymptomatic infarct on MR imaging, and 1 had visual symptoms. Poor revascularization was seen on angiography studies in all patients. The median duration between the surgeries was 24 months (3 months-10 years). Repeat revascularization was performed in 23 hemispheres (16 patients). Direct revascularization was performed in 14 hemispheres (60.9%): STA-MCA bypass in 10, external carotid artery-MCA vein bypass in 2, occipital artery (OA)-MCA in 1, and OA-posterior cerebral artery in 1 hemisphere. Indirect revascularization was performed for patients without an acceptable recipient vessel, and was done in 9 hemispheres. The procedures included EMS (4 hemispheres), repeat EDAS (2), and omental transposition (3). There was 1 postoperative death in a patient undergoing a high-flow vein graft implantation. None of the other patients experienced any neurological worsening after surgery. Follow-up was available in all patients, ranging from 3 to 144 months (mean 34 months, median 12 months). Of the 15 patients who survived repeat revascularization surgery, 12 (80%) were free from any TIA, stroke, or any other neurological symptoms. Two patients had occasional TIAs, less frequent than before, whereas 1 patient had frequent TIAs and underwent revision of the revascularization. Angiographic studies were available in 11 patients, and showed improved flow in the hemispheres in 10 patients. Follow-up MR imaging performed at 6 months did not reveal a new infarct in any patient.


Repeat revascularization procedures are effective for patients who are clinically symptomatic and have inadequate collateral vessels following indirect procedures. Although direct procedures are preferred, the choice of procedure depends on the operative findings and the status of donor and recipient vessels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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