Object. The purpose of the present study was to assess cerebral oxygenation patterns and brain lactate concentration changes before, during, and after intraarterial infusion of papaverine with or without balloon angioplasty in patients with symptomatic vasospasm.
Methods. A total of 23 vascular territories were successfully treated in 10 patients. In three patients balloon angioplasty was performed before the papaverine infusion. Continuous monitoring of jugular bulb vein oxygen saturation with a fiberoptic catheter and blood sampling allowed the assessment of the cerebral arteriovenous oxygen and lactate differences. A significant and rapid improvement in jugular bulb oxygen saturation was observed in all cases, with critical values reflecting an improvement in cerebral oxygenation after endovascular treatment of vasospasm (p = 0.005). Lactate concentration in the jugular bulb normalized within 4 hours in all patients who had evidence of brain lactic acidosis before superselective intraarterial infusion of papaverine. Recurrence of abnormal metabolic and oxygenation patterns were observed in one case in which an optimal hypertension and hypervolemic therapy could not be achieved after the procedure.
Conclusions. Improvement in cerebral oxygenation as well as prevention of cerebral lactic acidosis can be successfully achieved after intraarterial infusion of papaverine. Normalization of the oxygen supply after endovascular treatment has to be supported by optimal and well-monitored hypertension and hypervolemic hemodilution.
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