Reversed intracranial blood flow in patients with an intra-aortic balloon pump.
As a preliminary investigation into the cerebral effects of mechanical cardiac assist devices, using transcranial Doppler ultrasonography I examined the basal cerebral arteries in three patients placed on an intra-aortic balloon pump. Unassisted systoles had normal blood velocities and waveforms. When the pump was in use, diastolic blood velocity during balloon inflation increased. As the balloon was deflated and intra-aortic pressure was dramatically lowered, diastolic blood velocity within the intracranial vessels decreased sharply. In two patients there was a reversal of blood flow in the middle cerebral, anterior cerebral, basilar, and vertebral arteries during late diastole. Although the clinical effects of cessation and reversal of blood flow in the cerebral circulation while on an intra-aortic balloon pump remain to be determined, transcranial Doppler ultrasonography appears to be a useful tool for measuring these hemodynamic effects. It may also be helpful in quantifying the effects of such pumps on cerebral blood flow and devising inflation/deflation timing sequences that maximize forward blood flow.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association