Objective: Cerebral blood flow (CBF) alterations are common after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Treatment of delayed cerebral ischemia in this setting depends on timely and accurate diagnosis. Techniques to measure cerebral blood flow are useful and important. Computed tomographic (CT) perfusion imaging is a technique for the measurement of CBF, cerebral blood volume, and time to peak. It is a fast and inexpensive brain imaging modality that offers promise in the management of patients with SAH.
Methods: CT perfusion imaging was performed in 10 patients with aneurysmal SAH when neurological changes raised suspicions of cerebral ischemia. Quantitative values for CBF, cerebral blood volume, and time to peak were obtained in each study. The case history, CT perfusion results, and an analysis of how patient management was influenced are presented for each patient.
Results: A total of 17 CT perfusion studies were performed. Five studies showed evidence of cerebral ischemia, leading to endovascular treatment of vasospasm. Eight studies excluded cerebral ischemia, and two studies identified cerebral hyperemia, resulting in adjustments in hyperdynamic therapy. CT perfusion was used to help predict a poor prognosis and withhold aggressive intervention in two patients with poor Hunt and Hess grades. Time-to-peak values identified regions of cerebral ischemia more readily than CBF or cerebral blood volume values.
Conclusion: CT perfusion imaging can be used to identify patients with delayed cerebral ischemia after SAH and to guide medical and endovascular therapy. The findings can lead to alterations in patient management.