Baroreflex Sensitivity to Predict Malignant Middle Cerebral Artery Infarction
Background and Purpose—Hemicraniectomy has been shown to be an effective treatment of life-threatening edema (LTE) in malignant middle cerebral artery infarction when performed early. Identifying patients who will develop LTE is therefore imperative. We hypothesize that autonomic shift toward sympathetic dominance may relate to LTE formation. We aimed to investigate the predictive potential of baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) as a marker of autonomic balance for calculating the course of large middle cerebral artery infarction.
Methods—Patients with middle cerebral artery infarction >2/3 of the territory and BRS measurement at admission were analyzed. BRS was estimated using the cross-correlational method. Demographic, clinical, and radiological data including stroke severity, infarct size, and basal ganglia involvement were recorded. Malignant course with LTE was defined as clinical deterioration and midline shift ≥5 mm in the first 48 hours.
Results—Eighteen (62.8%) patients developed LTE. Patients with LTE had lower BRS (2.3 versus 4.4 mm Hg/ms, P=0.007), larger infarcts (214 versus 144 mL, P=0.03), more frequent involvement of the basal ganglia (14 versus 4, P=0.03), and more often underwent thrombolysis combined with endovascular intervention (6 versus 0, P=0.04). In a multivariate model, BRS (OR, 0.36; CI, 0.14–0.93; P=0.03) and basal ganglia involvement (OR, 11.53; CI, 1.15–115.9; P=0.04) were independent predictors for LTE. This model correctly classified 86.2% of the malignant cases.
Conclusions—Decreased BRS, mirroring sympathetic activation, and basal ganglia involvement were associated with development of malignant course with LTE in large middle cerebral artery infarction. The predictive relevance of our findings needs to be confirmed in further studies.
- Received July 15, 2011.
- Revision received October 19, 2011.
- Accepted November 11, 2011.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.