Preservation and microsurgical repair of the superficial temporal artery during pterional craniotomy
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
, p. 72-77
University of Antwerp
OBJECTIVE: To study the rate of superficial temporal artery (STA) preservation and the effectiveness of STA reconstruction in patients undergoing a pterional craniotomy. METHODS: Included patients (n = 136) underwent either an emergency or an elective pterional craniotomy. In case of deliberate transection or accidental damage of the STA, it was repaired microsurgically at the end of the procedure. Postoperatively, the patency of the STA was assessed on CT angiography, MR angiography, or conventional angiography and complications related to wound healing were recorded. RESULTS: Of the 136 operated patients, the STA could be identified in 120 cases (88%). Of these 120 cases, the STA could be dissected and left undamaged in 60 patients (44%). In 52 patients (38%), 1 of the 2 branches of the STA had to be transsected to elevate the muscle-skin flap. Forty-six of the transected arteries could be anastomosed at the end of the procedure. All of these arteries were patent directly after repair. In the remaining 16 patients (12%), the STA was not identified during approach. All anastomosed arteries (n = 46) were patent. Two patients developed a postoperative infection. CONCLUSIONS: Preserving or reconstructing of the STA during pterional craniotomy is feasible in the majority of the patients with very high rate of anastomosis patency. STA hinders elevation of the skin/muscle flap in approximately 38% of the pterional approaches and without reconstruction afterwards, the STA would been occluded.