SPECT study of cerebral blood flow reactivity after acetazolamide in patients with transient ischemic attacks.
We investigated 15 patients with one or more transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) in the internal carotid artery territory within the month following the most recent TIA. Cerebral blood flow (CBF) was measured by single-photon emission computed tomography, using intravenous xenon-133 before and after injection of 1 g acetazolamide. Six patients had severe carotid stenosis or occlusion; the other nine patients had no significant carotid lesions. Twenty age-matched volunteers free of neurologic symptoms or history were used as controls. Mean CBF in the sylvian region was not significantly different between patients and controls. Seven patients exhibited a focal hypoperfusion at rest in the symptomatic hemisphere, and their hypoperfused areas were hyporeactive after administration of acetazolamide. Seven other patients exhibited hyporeactive areas after acetazolamide administration while their CBF tomograms at rest were normal. Thus, CBF abnormalities were detected in 14 of the 15 patients. Our findings suggest that CBF measured early after acetazolamide administration could be useful to confirm the clinical diagnosis of TIA. In the nine patients with no significant lesion of the internal carotid artery, the areas of hypoperfusion were small and were probably related to the focal ischemic event. In the six patients with severe lesions of the internal carotid artery, abnormalities were of variable size and intensity but were often large and pronounced. The discrepancy between these two subgroups of patients could be ascribed to the hemodynamic influence of the internal carotid artery lesions. Moreover, our findings may provide some insight into the pathophysiology of TIAs.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association