Focal cerebral hyperemia in acute stroke. Incidence, pathophysiology and clinical significance.
In a consecutive study comprising 41 patients with completed stroke of less than 72 hours duration, cerebral angiography and measurements of the regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) were performed within 24 hours after admission. The rCBF study was done using the 133-Xenon intracarotid injection method and a 254 multi-detector camera. CT scan was done 24 hours after the rCBF study. Focal cerebral hyperemia was found in 16 patients. The study revealed 3 different types of hyperemia: Border-zone hyperemia, surrounding ischemic areas, was seen in patients with occluded arteries on angiography, presumably resulting from accumulation of acid metabolites in the border-zone of acute infarcts. Postischemic hyperemia was seen in patients without occlusion, presumably due to recanalization of a prior occluded artery. Remote hyperemia was found distant from the infarcted area, presumably due to local tissue pressure on brain tissue. Cortical infarcts (10 patients) all had extensive hyperemic areas. Because the 254 detector camera has an excellent resolution in the cortical surface, our findings strongly suggest that all acute cerebral infarcts are, in fact, associated with hyperemic areas. The hyperemic areas are often extensive and vascular reactivity is commonly impaired. It is suggested that treatment aimed at reducing blood flow in hyperemic areas might improve prognosis.
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