✓ The use of an ultrasonic transcranial Doppler technique for noninvasive evalution of cerebral vasospasm is described. Middle cerebral arteries (MCA's), classified as spastic on angiography, demonstrated blood-flow velocity between 120 and 230 cm/sec. The flow velocities in these arteries had a clear inverse relationship to the diameter as measured from angiograms in 38 patients with recent subarachnoid hemorrhage. This relationship in the proximal anterior cerebral artery (ACA) was found to be more complicated to assess, due to the collateral channels in the anterior part of the circle of Willis. The authors conclude, however, that the new method of measuring vasospasm will also detect spasm in the ACA if it has a hemodynamically significant effect upon flow resistance.
Rune Aaslid, Peter Huber, and Helge Nornes
Rolf W. Seiler, Peter Grolimund, Rune Aaslid, Peter Huber, and Helge Nornes
✓ 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.
Karl-Fredrik Lindegaard, Søren Jacob Bakke, Peter Grolimund, Rune Aaslid, Peter Huber, and Helge Nornes
✓ Noninvasive transcranial Doppler recordings were correlated to the angiographic findings in 77 patients with carotid artery disease. Stenoses reducing the luminal area of the internal carotid artery by 75% or more also reduced the pulsatility transmission index (PTI) of the ipsilateral middle cerebral artery (MCA). The PTI is the pulsatility index of the artery under study expressed as a percent of the pulsatility index of another intracranial artery with presumed unimpeded inflow in the same individual. For stenoses in the 75% to 89% category, PTI reduction was significantly greater in patients with bilateral carotid stenosis, indicating an impaired potential for collateral flow in these patients. The PTI reduction probably reflects both the pressure drop across the stenosis and the cerebral autoregulatory response. Two criteria proved useful in demonstrating collateral MCA supply through the circle of Willis. On the recipient side, retrograde flow in the proximal anterior cerebral artery was demonstrated in 29 of the 31 patients when this flow pattern was disclosed angiographically. In 26 of these patients, the anterior cerebral artery on the supplying side also had clearly increased flow velocity. Increased flow velocities in the proximal posterior cerebral artery were present in 26 of the 30 vessels that were acting as a collateral channel to the ipsilateral MCA.