Cerebral vasospasm evaluated by transcranial ultrasound correlated with clinical grade and CT-visualized subarachnoid hemorrhage

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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery and Neuroradiology, University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland
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✓ In 39 patients with a proven subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), the clinical status, the amount of subarachnoid blood on a computerized tomography scan obtained within 5 days after SAH, and the flow velocities (FV's) in both middle cerebral arteries (MCA's) measured by transcranial Doppler sonography were recorded daily and correlated. All patients had pathological FV's over 80 cm/sec between Day 4 and Day 10 after SAH. The side of the ruptured aneurysm showed higher FV's than did the unaffected side in cases of laterally localized aneurysms. Increase in FV preceded clinical manifestation of ischemia. A steep early increase of FV's portended severe ischemia and impending infarction. Maximum FV's in the range of 120 to 140 cm/sec were not critical and in no case led to brain infarction. Maximum FV's over 200 cm/sec were associated with a tendency for ischemia, but the patients may remain clinically asymptomatic. In cases of no or only a little blood in the basal cisterns, mean FV's in both MCA's increased only moderately whereas, with thick clots of subarachnoid blood, there was a steeper and higher increase of mean FV's.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Rolf W. Seiler, M.D., Neurochirurgische Klinik, Universitätspital, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland.

Present address for Dr. Aaslid: Institute for Applied Physiology and Medicine, 70, 16 Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98122.

Present address for Dr. Nornes: Department of Neurosurgery, Rikshospitalet, Oslo 1, Norway.

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