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Case Reports in Neurological Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 359586, 5 pages
Case Report

STA-MCA Bypass as a “Bridge” to Pituitary Surgery in a Patient with an Adenoma Occluding the Internal Carotid Artery: Case Report and Review of the Literature

1Department of Neuroscience and Surgery of the Nervous System, Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, Piazza OMS, Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità 1, 24127 Bergamo, Italy
2Department of Neuroanesthesiology, Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, Piazza OMS, Organizzazione Mondiale della Sanità 1, 24127 Bergamo, Italy

Received 9 August 2015; Accepted 23 August 2015

Academic Editor: Hidetoshi Ikeda

Copyright © 2015 Luigi A. Lanterna et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Occlusion of the intracranial internal carotid artery (ICA) by a pituitary adenoma with resulting cerebral ischemia is a very rare but devastating occurrence. The authors present a case in which a condition of symptomatic ICA occlusion due to a giant pituitary adenoma was successfully treated using a preliminary extraintracranial bypass as a “bridge” to the tumor removal. A 52-year-old patient presented with a minor stroke followed by pressure-dependent transient ischemic attacks consistent with a condition of hypoperfusion. MR imaging and a digital subtraction angiography revealed a pituitary adenoma occluding the ICA on the right side. He underwent a superficial temporal artery to middle cerebral artery (STA-MCA) bypass with the aim of revascularizing the ischemic hemisphere and reducing the risk of perioperative stroke or stroke evolution. The patient was subsequently operated on to remove the adenoma through a transsphenoidal approach. The postoperative course was uneventful and the patient has suffered no further ischemic events. When there are no emergency indications to decompress the optical pathways but the patient is at risk of impending stroke because of ICA occlusion, a two-step strategy consisting of a bypass and subsequent removal of the pituitary adenoma may be a valuable option.