Superior temporal gyrus approach to middle cerebral artery aneurysms: Technique and results

R. C. Heros, R. G. Ojemann, R. M. Crowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Aneurysms of the bifurcation of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) can be approached through a small incision in the anterior portion of the superior temporal gyrus. The pterion and the lateral aspect of the lesser wing of the sphenoid bone are removed. The aneurysm is approached, using microsurgical techniques, by following the main divisions of the MCA to the parent trunk and the base of the aneurysm. Once the parent vessel and the origin of the major divisions are clearly identified, it is usually preferable to dissect and mobilize the entire aneurysmal complex to elucidate the anatomy and prepare the neck for clipping. This approach offers the advantages of minimal brain retraction and minimal manipulation of the main trunk and perforators of the MCA. In addition, it allows a more complete exposure of the aneurysmal complex and facilitates dissection behind the aneurysm, which is more difficult when the aneurysm is approached from the front by opening the sylvian fissure medially to laterally. A potential disadvantage of this method is that proximal control is not obtained ultil the base of the aneurysm is reached, but this has not been a problem in our experience. Other disadvantages are the need for a slightly large bone flap and the potentially increased risk of epilepsy. This approach is not suitable when the main trunk of the MCA is short and the aneurysm is in front of the insula. It is also not recommended for the rare cases in which the aneurysms points back over the insula. During a 6-year period, this approach was used in 49 of 58 cases of MCA aneurysm. The only deaths in this group occurred in patients who were in deep coma before operation. Two patients were made worse by operative complications, and 2 more worsened as a result of postoperative vasospasm. There was a significant incidence of thrombophlebitis and pulmonary embolism in this series.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-313
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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