Cerebral hyperperfusion syndrome

Lancet Neurol. 2005 Dec;4(12):877-88. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(05)70251-9.


Cerebral hyperperfusion syndrome (CHS) after carotid endarterectomy is characterised by ipsilateral headache, hypertension, seizures, and focal neurological deficits. If not treated properly it can result in severe brain oedema, intracerebral or subarachnoid haemorrhage, and death. Knowledge of CHS among physicians is limited. Most studies report incidences of CHS of 0-3% after carotid endarterectomy. CHS is most common in patients with increases of more than 100% in perfusion compared with baseline after carotid endarterectomy and is rare in patients with increases in perfusion less than 100% compared with baseline. The most important risk factors in CHS are diminished cerebrovascular reserve, postoperative hypertension, and hyperperfusion lasting more than several hours after carotid endarterectomy. Impaired autoregulation as a result of endothelial dysfunction mediated by generation of free oxygen radicals is implicated in the pathogenesis of CHS. Treatment strategies are directed towards regulation of blood pressure and limitation of rises in cerebral perfusion. Complete recovery happens in mild cases, but disability and death can occur in more severe cases. More information about CHS and early institution of adequate treatment are of paramount importance in order to prevent these potentially severe complications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / etiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / physiopathology
  • Endarterectomy, Carotid / adverse effects*
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Perfusion / adverse effects*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Risk Factors