Cerebral vasodilating agents have been questioned as an effective form of therapy for the stroke patient and even have been considered by some to be harmful. Animal studies show that often vasodilating agents will cause an intracerebral steal, but such a reaction has rarely been demonstrated in stroke patients. Several studies measuring cerebral blood flow in man have shown that vasodilating agents will increase cerebral blood flow even in ischemic regions in some patients. Significant clinical studies have not been carried out to determine whether these agents will alter the natural history of the disease. On the basis of reported studies of the effect of vasodilating agents on the cerebral circulation, it is suggested that further laboratory and clinical studies be performed. These agents could potentially be an effective form of therapy in some patients with occlusive cerebrovascular disease.
- © 1972 American Heart Association, Inc.