Use of "Bonnet" Bypass With Radial Artery Interposition Graft in a Patient With Recurrent Cranial Base Carcinoma: Technical Report of Two Cases and Review of the Literature



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OBJECTIVE AND IMPORTANCE: Two patients with recurrent cranial base carcinomas involving the carotid artery received a \"bonnet\" bypass using the contralateral superficial temporal artery as the donor vessel because the ipsilateral common and external carotid arteries were unavailable. The radial artery was used as the graft. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: A 58-year-old man with ear pain and an enlarging mass involving the left cranial base and neck had undergone a right partial glossectomy and modified neck dissection followed by radiotherapy for squamous cell carcinoma. Recurrent carcinoma extensively involved the left internal carotid artery. A 46-year-old man with jaw pain and hoarseness had undergone multiple resections and radiation therapy for medullary thyroid carcinoma. Magnetic resonance imaging showed recurrent tumor on the right. INTERVENTION: Both patients underwent a pterional craniotomy. The supraclinoid internal carotid artery was exposed. The radial artery was harvested. The contralateral superficial temporal artery was dissected at its bifurcation into the frontal and parietal branches. The radial artery graft was anastomosed to the superficial temporal artery and a recipient ipsilateral branch of the middle cerebral artery. The internal carotid artery was clip-ligated. After surgery, both patients remained neurologically stable. Angiography confirmed that the bypasses were patent and that the middle cerebral artery territory filled. The patients' carcinomas were resected aggressively. CONCLUSION: When aggressive resection of cranial base tumors is needed and the ipsilateral carotid artery is unavailable as a donor vessel, a \"bonnet\" bypass with carotid artery sacrifice may be performed. Compared with vein grafts, microsurgical anastomosis is easier and the patency rate is higher with a radial artery graft.

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