Significance of low perfusion with increased oxygen extraction fraction in a case of internal carotid artery stenosis.
Decreased cerebral blood flow with an increased oxygen extraction fraction, the so-called misery perfusion syndrome, suggests a vulnerability to reduction in cerebral perfusion pressure and a tendency to develop cerebral infarction. It is uncertain, however, whether the infarct would occur in the brain region specifically exhibiting this condition.
We report the case of a patient with right intracranial internal carotid artery stenosis who presented with mild left hemiparesis resulting from a right frontal watershed infarct. Positron emission tomography 2 months after the stroke showed decreased cerebral blood flow with an increased oxygen extraction fraction in noninfarcted areas of the affected hemisphere. Maximal changes were detected in the watershed area between the middle cerebral artery and the posterior cerebral artery. Three months later, while on antiplatelet therapy, he suffered a new infarct in the right temporo-occipital watershed area that had shown the highest oxygen extraction fraction value on the first positron emission tomographic study. One month after the recurrence of stroke, a second study showed that low perfusion with increased oxygen extraction fraction persisted in the affected hemisphere to a lesser degree than in the first study.
This observation suggests that the area of low perfusion exhibiting the highest oxygen extraction fraction has the highest risk for infarction. Increased oxygen extraction fraction may be an important factor in the development of hemodynamic infarction.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association