Clinical Neuroscience

[Vasoreactivity impairment in brainstem and hemispherial small vessel disease, a comparative study]

PÁNCZÉL Gyula, BÖNÖCZK Péter, NAGY Zoltán

APRIL 20, 2002

Clinical Neuroscience - 2002;55(03-04)

[Aims - Cerebrovascular small vessel disease may lead to an impairment of vasoreactivity (VR). Vasoregulatory impairment in internal carotid artery distribution area has been established. In this study the authors sought the answer to the question if VR of vertebrobasilar (VB) territory was impaired in brainstem small vessel diseases and if vasoregulatory impairment differed between the two distribution territories. Methods - VR of carotid and VB territory was compared applying different functional tests (ventilation, tilting, acetazolamide) in 25 patients with brainstem lacunar infarcts, 20 patients with periventricular leukoaraiosis and in 35 control subjects. Cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV) of basilar artery (BA) and middle cerebral artery (MCA) was monitored with transcranial Doppler (TCD), systemic blood pressure and CO2 partial pressure of expired air were also registered. Results - In the BA territory the VR was significantly smaller in the patient than in the control group (3.1± 4.6 cm/sec/kPa vs. 8.2 ± 6.2 cm/sec/ kPa, p=0.01) during hypercapnia. In a subgroup of patients with mean baseline CBFV<25 cm/sec, the VR was significantly smaller and PI nonsignificantly higher than in patients with baseline CBFV >25cm/s (VRCO2 1.5±2.0 cm/sec/kPa vs. 6.5±6.5 cm/sec/kPa, p=0.007; PI 1.11±0.30 vs. 1.0±0.26, p=0.4) indicating higher vascular resistance in the former group. Results of tilting tests showed similar but nonsignificant changes while acetazolamide tests revealed no differences between the two groups. In the MCA territory the VR was significantly lower in patients than in the controls during hypercapnia (4.7±3.7 cm/sec/kPa vs. 18.4±6.8 cm/sec/kPa, p< 0.001) and showed a nonsignificant tendency to be lower in patients than in controls during hypocapnia (14.6±13.8 cm/sec/kPa vs. 24.7±21.2 cm/sec/kPa, p=0.1). Although CBFV measurements during acetazolamide test tended to support these findings, they showed no significant differences between patients and controls. During head-up tilt the CBFV did not differ significantly between the two groups. The VRCO2 is significantly higher in the MCA than in the BA territory (18.4 CI95 2.98 vs. 10.1 CI95 3.01; p<0.001). The impairment of VRCO2 was more severe in the MCA territory (VR decreased to 26% of baseline in the MCA and to 34% in the BA territory). Conclusion - The capacity of carotid territory VR exceeds that of VB territory. The impairment of VR is present in both the carotid and VB territories and is more severe in the former region. The most feasible test to reveal this impairment is the hypercapnic test. There is a strong correlation between the extent of vasoregulatory impairment and baseline CBFV in brainstem small vessel diseases.]

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[Life-threatening, complete middle cerebral artery infarction occurs in up to 10% of all stroke patients. The “malignant media occlusion” is an infarction occupying more than 50% of middle cerebral artery territory. The malignant, space-occupying supratentorial ischemic stroke is characterised by a mortality rate of up to 80%. Several reports indicate, that hemicraniectomy in this situation can be life-saving. Hemicraniectomy increases cerebral perfusion pressure and optimises retrograde perfusion via the leptomeningeal collateral vessels. A case of a patient is presented, having progressive neurological deterioration due to massive cerebral infarctions. The patient rehabilitation was successful. Decompressive surgery is life saving and can also give acceptable functional recovery. Hemorrhagic stroke is due to stroke in 15% of cases and in 10%, it is “spontaneous” intracerebral hematoma. The intracerebral and intraventricular hemorrhage represents one of the most devastating types of stroke associated with high morbidity and mortality. The 30-day mortality rate is 35% to 50% and most survivors are left with a neurological disability. The value of surgical therapy is debatable. The aspiration and urokinase therapy of the hematoma of intracerebral hemorrhage could improve final neurological outcome. Spontaneous, nontraumatic intraventricular hemorrhage frequently carries a grave prognosis. A large part of morbidity after intraventricular hemorrhage is related to intracranial hypertension from hydrocephalus. One patient presented had intracerebral hemorrhage and another had intraventricular hemorrhage treated with urokinase. Rapid and extensive reduction in the amount of intracerebral and intraventricular blood occurred. Urokinase lysis is safe and can be a potentially beneficial intervention in intracerebral and intraventricular hemorrhage. By performing decompressive craniectomy, the neurologists of stroke departments and intensive care units with the neurosurgeons will have to play major role in the management of stroke patients.]

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[In the article digital imaging methods are presented with special emphasis on the use on diagnostics of cerebral circulation studies. Recently, fundamental changes have happened in this field, concerning especially the MR investigations. These changes have influenced the therapeutic strategies of ischaemic stroke. Authors give the theoretical background on the diffusion and perfusion MR imaging, emphasising the importance of their “mismatch” and its impact in the estimation of the outcome of ischaemic events. More recently, new, controversial facts arose, regarding the reasons of the introduction of the theory of so called “negative” and “positive” mismatches. As a consequence, a level of uncertainty took place in the judgement of prognostics. The leading institutions are searching the way to solve the problem which seems to be the quantitative evaluation of the diffusion, perfusion and mismatch data. The advent of the multislice spiral CT with very fast imaging and the importance of CT investigations increased. With this new kind of equipment, even perfusion studies can be performed using iodinated contrast medium.]

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