Cerebral blood flow and metabolism in severely head-injured children

Part 2: Autoregulation

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✓ Autoregulation of cerebral blood flow (“CBF15”) was tested in a series of 26 pediatric patients (mean age 13.2 years) with severe head injury (average Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score 5.5) in the acute stage. A baseline 133Xe CBF measurement was performed and then repeated, after blood pressure was increased by 29% with intravenous phenylephrine or decreased by 26% with intravenous trimethaphan camsylate. Correlations were made between CBF and clinical condition, outcome, time after injury, intracranial pressure (ICP), and pressure-volume index (PVI) changes, and the site of injury (hemispheres, diencephalon, or brain stem). The site of injury was determined with multimodality evoked potential measurements. Autoregulation was intact in 22 (59%) of 37 measurements. There was no correlation with GCS score, outcome, time after injury, site of injury, or way of testing (decreasing or increasing blood pressure). Autoregulation was statistically significantly more often impaired when CBF was either below normal −2 standard deviations (SD) (reduced flow) or above normal +2 SD (absolute hyperemia). In cases with intact autoregulation, mean ICP decreased from 17.5 to 15.0 mm Hg with higher blood pressure and increased from 19.0 to 21.3 mm Hg with lower blood pressure. When PVI was measured during the blood pressure manipulations, it was found to change in a direction opposite to the ICP change. The consequences of these findings in the management of ICP problems with blood pressure control are discussed.

Article Information

Address reprint requests to: J. Paul Muizelaar, M.D., Ph.D., Division of Neurosurgery, P.O. Box 631, MCV Station, Richmond, Virginia 23298.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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