Autoregulatory vasodilation of parenchymal vessels is impaired during cerebral vasospasm

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1998 Apr;18(4):419-24. doi: 10.1097/00004647-199804000-00010.


Impaired CBF autoregulation during vasospasm after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) could reflect impaired capacity of distal vessels to dilate in response to reduced local perfusion pressure or simply indicate that the perfusion pressure distal to large arteries in spasm is so low that vessels are already maximally dilated. Autoregulatory vasodilation can be detected in vivo as an increase in the parenchymal cerebral blood volume (CBV). Regional CBV, CBF, and oxygen extraction fraction in regions with and without angiographic vasospasm obtained from 29 positron emission tomography studies performed after intracranial aneurysm rupture were compared with data from 19 normal volunteers and five patients with carotid artery occlusion. Regional CBF was reduced compared to normal in regions from SAH patients with and without vasospasm as well as with ipsilateral carotid occlusion (P < .0001). Regional oxygen extraction fraction was higher during vasospasm and distal to carotid occlusion than both normal and SAH without vasospasm (P < .0001). Regional CBV was reduced compared to normal in regions with and without spasm, whereas it was increased ipsilateral to carotid occlusion (P < .0001). These findings of reduced parenchymal CBV during vasospasm under similar conditions of tissue hypoxia that produce increased CBV in patients with carotid occlusion provide evidence that parenchymal vessels distal to arteries with angiographic spasm after SAH do not show normal autoregulatory vasodilation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aneurysm, Ruptured / complications
  • Carotid Stenosis / complications
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Female
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / complications
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / diagnostic imaging
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / etiology
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / complications
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / physiopathology
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed
  • Vasodilation / physiology*


  • Oxygen