Cerebral vasospasm evaluated by transcranial Doppler ultrasonography at different intracranial pressures

J Neurosurg. 1991 Nov;75(5):752-8. doi: 10.3171/jns.1991.75.5.0752.


The present study evaluates the interdependence of clinical stage, cerebral vasospasm, intracranial pressure (ICP), and transcranial Doppler ultrasonographic parameters. The mean flow velocity of blood in the middle cerebral artery and the index of cerebral circulatory resistance as a measure of the peripheral vascular flow resistance were determined in 76 patients with spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage. The ICP was measured using an epidural transducer in 41 patients. There was no case in which both high ICP and a high mean flow velocity were observed simultaneously. The investigations led to the following conclusions. 1) In patients with a resistance index of less than 0.5, changes in the mean flow velocity seem to reflect sufficiently the actual severity and time course of vasospasm. 2) During the time course of vasospasm, an increase in the resistance index above values of 0.6 with a simultaneously decreased mean flow velocity indicates a rise in ICP rather than a reduction in vasospasm. 3) With a pronounced increase in ICP, evaluation of the severity and time course of vasospasm by transcranial Doppler ultrasonography based solely upon the mean flow velocity can lead to false-negative results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Pressure*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / complications
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging*
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / physiopathology*
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonography
  • Vascular Resistance