The operative management of large and giant aneurysms is complicated by their typically atheromatous and thick walls, frequent intramural thrombosis with calcification, and broad-based necks that often incorporate perforating and other vital vessels. Not infrequently, it is necessary to at least focally arrest the intracranial circulation and open or excise these aneurysms to facilitate vascular reconstruction. This maneuver, in patients whose disease processes have destroyed autoregulatory function or who have inadequate sources of anatomical collateral supply, may cause the threshold for permanent ischemic injury to be exceeded. The authors have recently treated 14 such patients while under electroencephalographic monitoring to document electrical burst suppression induced by the administration of etomidate, followed by temporary clipping to permit vascular repair and intraoperative angiography to document patency of parent arteries. Up to 60 minutes of internal carotid artery occlusion, 35 minutes of middle cerebral artery occlusion, 19 minutes of upper basilar artery occlusion, and 4 1/2 minutes of lower basilar artery occlusion have been well tolerated using this protocol. In such situations, etomidate may be effective in protecting the cerebral circulation without the detrimental cardiotoxicity observed with protective doses of barbiturates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology