Intracerebral hemorrhage after carotid endarterectomy

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✓ A series of 14 patients with intracerebral hemorrhage after carotid endarterectomy is reviewed. This complication occurred in 0.6% of 2362 consecutive carotid endarterectomies performed at the Mayo Clinic from 1972 through 1986. All hemorrhages occurred within the first 2 weeks after operation and were ipsilateral to the side of the operation. Eight patients died, and only two made a good recovery. Significant risk factors are hypertension and chronic hemispheric hypoperfusion with impaired autoregulation. The “normal pressure-hyperperfusion breakthrough” syndrome was considered to be operative in 12 of the 14 patients. Nine patients had documented hyperperfusion (at least 100% increase of baseline cerebral blood flow) at the time of surgery. In an additional three patients, normal perfusion-pressure breakthrough was inferred by the clinical course and radiological findings, as well as by the absence of alternative explanations. Patients at risk for postendarterectomy intracerebral hemorrhage include those who have a clinical history suggestive of hemodynamic cerebral ischemia, severe carotid stenosis with limited hemispheric collateral flow, and postendarterectomy hyperperfusion, as measured by intraoperative cerebral blood flow. To minimize the risk of hemorrhage in these patients, strict maintenance of blood pressure at normotensive or even relatively hypotensive levels during the intraoperative and early postoperative periods is advised.

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Address reprint requests to: David G. Piepgras, M.D., Department of Neurologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, Minnesota 55905.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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