Background: Bypass surgery for complex intracranial aneurysms (IAs) results in drastic blood flow changes in intracranial arteries. The aim of the study was to elucidate how vessels adapt to blood flow changes after bypass surgery with phase-contrast magnetic resonance imaging (PC-MRI). Methods: This is a prospective observational study to assess changes of the blood flow in intracranial arteries after bypass surgery for IAs. Flow rates and vessel diameters were measured with PC-MRI in 52 intracranial arteries of 7 healthy volunteers and 31 arteries of 8 IA patients who underwent bypass surgery. Wall shear stress (WSS) was calculated with the Hagen-Poiseuille formula. In 18 arteries of 5 patients, the same measurement was performed 1, 3, and 12 months after surgery. Results: PC-MRI showed a strong positive correlation between the flow rate and the third power of vessel diameter in both healthy volunteers (r = 0.82, P < 0.0001) and IA patients (r = 0.90, P < 0.0001), indicating the constant WSS. Of the 18 arteries in 5 patients, WSS increased in 7 arteries and decreased in 11 arteries immediately after surgery. In the WSS-increased group, WSS returned to the preoperative value in the third postoperative month. In the WSS-decreased group, WSS increased in the 12th month, but did not return to the preoperative level. Conclusions: In a physiological state, WSS was constant in intracranial arteries. Changed WSS after bypass surgery tended to return to the preoperative value, suggesting that vessel diameter and flow rate might be controlled so that WSS remains constant.
ASJC Scopus subject areas