Persistent autoregulatory disturbance after angioplasty for cerebral vasospasm: A case report

Academic Article


  • Hyperdynamic therapy, consisting of hypervolemia, haemodilution, and hypertension, is an established treatment for cerebral vasospasm following subarachnoid haemorrhage. Angioplasty has emerged as an additional, effective treatment for symptomatic vasospasm. Loss of autoregulation, however, can occur despite effective angioplasty, underscoring the need for treatment with hyperdynamic therapy in combination with angioplasty. A 43-year-old woman underwent endovascular coiling of a ruptured left posterior communicating artery aneurysm. The patient went on to develop symptomatic vasospasm and was treated with hyperdynamic therapy and angioplasty. Autoregulation was assessed with xenon CT cerebral blood flow (CBF) measurement. An initial CBF study was obtained when the patient received dopamine and dobutamine infusions to maintain systolic blood pressure at 1600 mmHg. The vasopressor drips were then temporarily held for twenty minutes, allowing the patient's systolic blood pressure to drop to 140 mmHg, and a repeat CBF study was obtained. Several days after angioplasty, CBF decreased significantly when the patient was taken off vasopressors, including impaired autoregulation. Hyperdynamic therapy was continued, and another CBF study one week later showed a return of autoregulation and normalization of CBF without induced hypertension. Autoregulation is disturbed during vasospasm. Although angioplasty can improve large artery blood flow during vasospasm, hyperdynamic therapy is also needed to maintain cerebral perfusion, particularly in the face of impaired autoregulation. Quantitative CBF measurement permits the maintenance of optimal CBF and monitoring of response to therapy.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Author List

  • Song DK; Harrigan MR; Deveikis JP; McGillicuddy JE
  • Start Page

  • 409
  • End Page

  • 415
  • Volume

  • 8
  • Issue

  • 4