Hemodynamics in internal carotid artery occlusion examined by positron emission tomography.
Using positron emission tomography in nine patients with minor strokes, unilateral internal carotid artery occlusion, and good collateral circulation through the anterior portion of the circle of Willis, we analyzed regional cerebral blood flow, cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen, oxygen extraction fraction, and cerebral blood volume. These studies allowed quantification of the regional hemodynamic status, especially in relation to watershed areas. Compared with eight normal controls, the patients had significantly (p less than 0.01) decreased regional cerebral blood flow in the middle cerebral artery territory and the surrounding watershed areas of the occluded hemisphere. The oxygen extraction fraction rose with the distance from the anterior portion of the circle of Willis, attaining the highest value in the superior parietal and posterior temporo-occipital watershed area. A concomitant decrease in the cerebral blood flow/cerebral blood volume ratio suggested reduction in the mean blood flow velocity, whereby elevated blood viscosity would be more liable to reduce cerebral blood flow. These findings suggest hemodynamic vulnerability of the watershed areas after internal carotid artery occlusion in persons with good collateral circulation through the anterior portion of the circle of Willis. Our results also emphasize the importance of systemic hemodynamic factors such as blood pressure and circulating blood volume in the genesis of watershed infarction.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association