Hyperventilation-induced cerebral ischemia in panic disorder and effect of nimodipine

Am J Psychiatry. 1992 Nov;149(11):1589-91. doi: 10.1176/ajp.149.11.1589.


Basilar artery blood flow was measured by transcranial Doppler ultrasonography before and during hyperventilation in nine patients with panic disorder and nine normal comparison subjects. The hyperventilation-induced decrease in basilar artery blood flow was significantly greater in patients with panic attacks than in comparison subjects. Two patients with decreases in basilar flow greater than 80% were successfully treated with nimodipine, a centrally active calcium channel blocker.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Basilar Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Basilar Artery / drug effects
  • Basilar Artery / physiopathology
  • Blood Flow Velocity / drug effects
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Brain Ischemia / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Hyperventilation / complications*
  • Male
  • Nimodipine / pharmacology
  • Nimodipine / therapeutic use*
  • Panic Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Panic Disorder / drug therapy
  • Panic Disorder / physiopathology
  • Ultrasonography


  • Nimodipine