The rCBF response to Diamox in normal subjects and cerebrovascular disease patients

J Neurosurg. 1987 Oct;67(4):525-34. doi: 10.3171/jns.1987.67.4.0525.


Age-related norms for the regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) response to Diamox (acetazolamide) were based on studies of 55 normal subjects at rest and on studies of 33 of these 55 normal subjects following an intravenous injection of Diamox (22 mg/kg). After the Diamox injection, rCBF increased at all locations measured in all subjects. On average, rCBF increased 1.7 times. The following were found for rCBF in both resting and Diamox-treated subjects: 1) rCBF decreased significantly with increasing age; 2) slope and intercept for the regression of rCBF on age were largest for frontal detectors, intermediate for parietal detectors, and smallest for occipital detectors; 3) rCBF hyperfrontality was most noticeable in younger subjects; 4) in subjects of any age, 95% confidence intervals for rCBF were relatively large (expected value +/- 30%) and lower 95% confidence intervals for Diamox rCBF tended to overlap the upper 95% confidence intervals for resting rCBF; and 5) side-to-side percentage difference in rCBF did not have a significant regression on age and tended to be less than 10% to 20%. Diamox did not have an important effect on blood pressure, pulse rate, or respiratory rate. The normative data for the rCBF response to Diamox was used in evaluating 20 patients with cerebrovascular disease. Forty percent of these patients, all of whom exhibited angiographic evidence of potentially hemodynamically significant lesions, had normal rCBF at rest and after Diamox injection. Twenty percent had normal resting flows with abnormal Diamox-activated flows. Asymmetry in rCBF was the most sensitive indicator of a potential abnormality in cerebral perfusion. Thirty percent of the abnormal studies showed only significant asymmetry. It is suggested that rCBF studies at rest and after Diamox treatment, with age-related norms, may be useful in the management of patients with cerebrovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetazolamide / adverse effects
  • Acetazolamide / pharmacology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / drug effects*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values


  • Acetazolamide