Correlation of cardiac arrhythmias with brainstem compression in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage.
Neurogenically caused cardiac arrhythmias and their correlation to lesions within the central nervous system were examined prospectively in 54 patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage. All patients were examined neurologically daily for 3 weeks, with special attention given to signs of brainstem compression resulting from transtentorial herniation. Electrocardiograms were continuously recorded over an average of 5 days. A significant correlation was established between the clinical manifestations of brainstem compression and sinus arrhythmias, multifocal premature ventricular contractions, couplets, and ventricular tachycardias. An explanation for this correlation may be found in the localization of the autonomous cardiovascular centers in the hypothalamus and brainstem. Transtentorial herniation frequently leads to a bilateral lesion of these structures. However, the cardiac arrhythmias are only a partial phenomenon within a complex cardiovascular reaction.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association