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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 27-29

Infraoptic ACA with ICA bifurcation aneurysm - Anatomic case report

Department of Neurosurgery, Bombay Hospital Institute of Medical Science, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
C E Deopujari
126-B, MRC, Bombay Hospital, New Marine Lines, Mumbai-400020
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Variations of the anterior cerebral artery are well known. However, the infraoptic course of the ACA is a rare anomaly. We present a case report of a patient with such an anomaly with an associated ruptured ipsilateral ICA bifurcation aneurysm with its attendant management problems.

Keywords: anterior cerebral artery, optic nerve, internal carotid artery bifurcation, aneurysm, subarachnoid haemorrhage

How to cite this article:
Deopujari C E, Shah R M, Kakani A B, Karmarkar V S, Luhana R C, Rajiv. Infraoptic ACA with ICA bifurcation aneurysm - Anatomic case report. J Pediatr Neurosci 2006;1, Suppl S1:27-9

How to cite this URL:
Deopujari C E, Shah R M, Kakani A B, Karmarkar V S, Luhana R C, Rajiv. Infraoptic ACA with ICA bifurcation aneurysm - Anatomic case report. J Pediatr Neurosci [serial online] 2006 [cited 2022 Jul 5];1, Suppl S1:27-9. Available from: https://www.pediatricneurosciences.com/text.asp?2006/1/1/27/17047

  Introduction Top

The literature is replete with reports of anatomic variations of the Anterior Cerebral Artery.[1],[2],[3],[4] These anomalies, initially described in cadaveric studies and on angiography, are now being increasingly recognized owing to improved imaging. However, an infraoptic course of the Anterior Cerebral Artery is rare and has important surgical implications. We report a case with such an anomaly encountered during clipping of an acute ruptured ICA bifurcation aneurysm on the same side.

  Case Report Top

A fifteen year old girl presented with a two day history of sudden onset headaches, vomiting and transient loss of consciousness at that time. On examination, she was conscious, alert and did not have a focal neurological deficit. (WFNS Gr. 1)

A Computed Tomography of the brain revealed subarachnoid hemorrhage with blood predominantly in the right sylvian fissure and the basal cisterns. There was no suggestion of hydrocephalus. [Figure - 1] A four vessel Digital Subtraction Angiography showed a low bifurcation of the Internal Carotid Artery on the right side with a wide necked aneurysm at the bifurcation. We also noticed that the origin and course of the right Anterior Cerebral Artery was more horizontal than usual. The left A2 segment was filling from the right side, the left A1 being hypoplastic. The anterior choroidal artery was arising from the M1 segment of Middle Cerebral Artery. [Figure - 2], [Figure - 3]

She immediately underwent a right pterional craniotomy for clipping of the aneurysm. At surgery, it was noted that the Sylvian fissure was not well developed and was seen more posteriorly than usual. The proximal ICA was not visible, as the bifurcation was very low. Only the dome of the aneurysm was visible. The origin of right anterior choroidal artery from the M1 segment was confirmed. The right Anterior Cerebral Artery (A1 segment) was seen to be going under the right optic nerve. [Figure - 4]

After realizing that the bifurcation was right at the entry of the Internal Carotid Artery in the subarachnoid space, and the neck of the aneurysm was not well visualized, it was decided to expose Internal Carotid Artery in the neck. Proximal control of the ICA was obtained in the neck and temporary trapping (ACA & MCA) was used to dissect the neck of the aneurysm. The aneurysm was clipped using two Yasargil type clips, a side angled and a straight clip. The patient had an uneventful postoperative recovery.

  Discussion Top

Usually, the Anterior Cerebral Artery arises at the bifurcation of the Internal Carotid Artery at the medial end of the Sylvian fissure, lateral to the optic chiasm and below the anterior perforated substance. The A1 segment (pre communicating segment of the Anterior Cerebral Artery) then turns medially and somewhat anteriorly, passing over the chiasm to meet the Anterior Communicating Artery. Many variations of the anterior cerebral artery complex are described in the literature. Common anomalies are hypoplasia or aplasia of the A1 segment,[3], [4] duplication of the Anterior Communicating Artery,[4] presence of three distal Anterior Cerebral Arteries,[3],[4] an azygous distal Anterior Cerebral Artery. The presence of an infraoptic course of the A1 segment is rare however, and only thirty-two cases with this anomaly have been reported in the literature.[5] This anomaly was first described by Robinson in 1959, during an anatomic dissection.[6]

In all the cases of this anomaly described in the literature, the bifurcation of the Internal Carotid Artery is low, almost at the level of the origin of the Ophthalmic Artery just as the Internal Carotid Artery becomes intradural.[5] The Middle Cerebral Artery appears to be a direct continuation of the Internal Carotid Artery and the A1 segment passes below the ipsilateral optic nerve. The further course of this artery is variable.[7]

There are many theories in the literature regarding the embryogenesis of this anomalous vessel.[8],[9],[10] It has been variously described as simply the abnormal course of the A1[7] or as a persistent inutero communication between the primitive dorsal and ventral ophthalmic arteries.[9] Some postulate it to be an anastomosis between the branches of the primitive Maxillary and olfactory arteries[7],[10] or as the persistence of the prechiasmal arterial anastomosis.[11] Still others think of it as an anastomosis between the Anterior Cerebral Artery and the Internal Carotid Artery.[12]

This anomaly, like other variations in the circle of Willis, is associated with increase in the incidence of aneurysms. The most common site of such aneurysms is at the Anterior Cerebral Artery-Anterior Communicating Artery complex.[5] Aneurysms at other sites including the Middle Cerebral Artery , the infraoptic part of the A1 segment itself, Internal Cerebral Artery-Ophthalmic aneurysm[9] have all been reported. Apart from aneurysms, other vascular anomalies including a fused pericallosal artery, agenesis of the contra lateral Internal Cerebral Artery, origin of the Middle Cerebral Artery from the Basilar artery, Coarctation of aorta, Moya-Moya disease have been described.[5]

The cases reported in the literature have been identified during anatomic dissections,[6] conventional angiography,[5] Magnetic Resonance Angiography,[8] during surgery and during autopsy.[13] Though rare, preoperative recognition of this anomalous vessel and other anomalies is crucial for proper surgical planning. The characteristic appearances on conventional angiography have been described. There is an apparently low bifurcation of the Internal Carotid Artery and the Anterior Cerebral Artery takes a more horizontal course and turns medially. In the midline, it turns superiorly to join the Anterior Communicating Artery. A MR angiography shows similar findings as the conventional DSA, but reviewing the source images or obtaining high spatial resolution images of the suprasellar region provides additional information regarding the relationship of the Anterior Cerebral Artery to the optic chiasm.[8]

Clinically, it is important to recognize this anomaly because of its association with other vascular anomalies; to ensure proper preoperative planning, for proximal control of the Internal Carotid Artery while clipping the aneurysm. Recognition of this anomaly avoids unnecessary dissection and possible damage to the vessels, perforators or the optic apparatus during the surgery.

  Conclusion Top

Although anomalies of the Internal Carotid Artery and its branches are known, an infraoptic course of the Anterior Cerebral Artery associated with an ipsilateral Internal Carotid Artery bifurcation aneurysm is not reported in English literature. We have presented the anatomy and the possible attendant complications with such an anomaly and the importance of recognizing this rare entity.

  References Top

1.Mayer PL, Kier EL. The Ontogenetic and Phylogenetic basis of Cerebrovascular Anomalies and Variants. In : Apuzzo ML. Brain Surgery: Complication Avoidance and Management. Vol. 1. Churchill Livingstone Inc: 1983. p. 691-792.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Gomes F, Dujovny M, Umansky F, Berman S, Diaz F, Ausman J, et al. Microanatomy of the Anterior Cerebral Artery. Surg Neurol 1986;26:129-41.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Perlmutter D, Rhoton A. Microsurgical anatomy of the Anterior Cerebral- Anterior Communicaing-recurrent artery complex. J Neurosurg 1976;45:259-72.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Yasargill MG. Microneurosurgery. Vol 1. Stuttgart, Theime Verlag: 1984. p. 92-9.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Spinnato S, Pasqualin A, Chioffi F, Pian R. Infraoptic course of Anterior Cerebral Artery associated with an Anterior Communicating Artery Aneurysm: Anatomic case report and embryological consideration. Neurosurgery 1999;4:1315-9.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Robinson LR. An unusual human anterior cerebral artery. J Anat 1959;93:131-3.  Back to cited text no. 6  [PUBMED]  
7.Senter HJ, Miller DJ. Interoptic course of the Anterior Cerebral Artery associated with Anterior Cerebral Artery Aneurysm. J Neurosurg 1982;56:302-4.  Back to cited text no. 7  [PUBMED]  
8.Curtis A, Given II, Morris P. Recognition and importance of an Infraoptic Anterior Cerebral Artery: Case Report. Am J Neuradiol 2002;23:452-4.  Back to cited text no. 8    
9.Odake G. Carotid- Anterior Cerebral Artery Anastomosis with Aneurysm: Case report and review of literature. Neurosurgery 1988;23:654-8.  Back to cited text no. 9  [PUBMED]  
10.Padget DH. The development of the cranial arteries in the human embryo. Contrib Embryol 1948;32:207-62.  Back to cited text no. 10    
11.Isherwood I, Dutton J. Unusual anomaly of Anterior Cerebral Artery. Acta Radiol (Diagn) 1969;9:345-51.  Back to cited text no. 11  [PUBMED]  
12.Nutik S, Dilenge D. Carotid - Anterior Cerebral Artery Anastomosis. J Neurosurg 1976;4:378-82.  Back to cited text no. 12    
13.McCormick W. A unique anomaly of the intracranial arteries of man. Neurology 1969;19:77-80.  Back to cited text no. 13    


[Figure - 1], [Figure - 2], [Figure - 3], [Figure - 4]


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