OBJECTIVE Early recanalisation by thrombolysis is a conclusive therapy for acute ischaemic stroke. But this therapy may increase the risk of intracerebral haemorrhage or severe brain oedema. The purpose was to evaluate usefulness of quantitative measurement of cerebral blood flow by single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in predicting the risk of haemorrhage or oedema, and determining the therapeutic options in acute hemispheric ischaemic stroke.
METHODS The relation was studied retrospectively between initial regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) quantitatively measured by technetium-99m-labelled hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime (99mTc-HMPAO) SPECT and final clinical and radiological outcome in 20 patients who presented hemispheric ischaemic stroke and were treated conservatively or received early recanalisation by local intra-arterial thrombolysis. The non-invasive Patlak plot method was used for quantitative measurement of rCBF by SPECT.
RESULTS Regions where residual rCBF was preserved over 35 ml/100 g/min had a low possibility of infarction without recanalisation and regions where residual rCBF was preserved over 25 ml/100 g/min could be recovered by early recanalisation. However, regions where residual rCBF was severely decreased (< 20 ml/100 g/min) had a risk of intracerebral haemorrhage and severe oedema.
CONCLUSIONS A quantitative assessment of residual rCBF by 99mTc-HMPAO SPECT is useful in predicting the risk of haemorrhage or severe oedema in acute ischaemic stroke. Therapeutic options should be determined based on the results of rCBF measurement.
- acute ischaemic stroke
- regional cerebral blood flow
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