Uniformity of intracarotid drug distribution with diastole-phased pulsed infusion

J Neurosurg. 1987 Nov;67(5):726-31. doi: 10.3171/jns.1987.67.5.0726.


Drug streaming has been implicated in the development of focal necrotic lesions in perfused tissues following intracarotid chemotherapy of brain tumors at low infusion rates. The narrow infusate path characteristic of streaming within laminar blood flow is not observed at high infusion rates such as are typical in contrast injection for angiography. By periodically pulsing the infusate at a high rate, the mechanisms of rapid mixing can be exploited while retaining the practicality of low average infusion rates. This in vitro study demonstrates the effects of the pulse-controlling parameters and the catheter characteristics and placement on mixing effectiveness. An internal carotid artery model including eight cerebral branches was infused with dye through various indwelling catheters, and individual branch effluents were collected and analyzed spectrophotometrically for dye concentration. While catheter placement dominates the factors that control infusate distribution, judicious selection of the pulse parameters can alleviate that dependence. A primary advantage is gained by phasing the pulse to occur during that period of the cardiac cycle when the blood flow is lowest at the injection site. The data clearly showed that diastole-phased pulsed infusions are highly effective in producing a uniform infusate distribution at low average infusion rates.

MeSH terms

  • Carotid Arteries*
  • Catheterization
  • Catheters, Indwelling
  • Coloring Agents
  • Diastole
  • Humans
  • Infusion Pumps*
  • Infusions, Intra-Arterial*
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Pulsatile Flow


  • Coloring Agents