Computed tomography perfusion (CTP) has been performed to predict which patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage are at risk of developing delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI). Patients with severe arterial narrowing may have significant reduction in perfusion. However, many patients have less severe arterial narrowing. There is a paucity of literature evaluating perfusion changes which occur with mild to moderate narrowing. The purpose of our study was to investigate serial whole-brain CTP/computed tomography angiography in aneurysm-related subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) patients with mild to moderate angiographic narrowing.
We retrospectively studied 18 aSAH patients who had baseline and follow-up whole-brain CTP/computed tomography angiography. Thirty-one regions of interest/hemisphere at six levels were grouped by vascular territory. Arterial diameters were measured at the circle of Willis. The correlation between arterial diameter and change in CTP values, change in CTP in with and without DCI, and response to intra-arterial vasodilator therapy in DCI patients was evaluated.
There was correlation among the overall average cerebral blood flow (CBF; R=0.49, p<0.04), mean transit time (R=–0.48, p=0.04), and angiographic narrowing. In individual arterial territories, there was correlation between changes in CBF and arterial diameter in the middle cerebral artery (R=0.53, p=0.03), posterior cerebral artery (R=0.5, p=0.03), and anterior cerebral artery (R=0.54, p=0.02) territories. Prolonged mean transit time was correlated with arterial diameter narrowing in the middle cerebral artery territory (R=0.52, p=0.03). Patients with DCI tended to have serial worsening of CBF compared with those without DCI (p=0.055).
Our preliminary study demonstrates there is a correlation between mild to moderate angiographic narrowing and serial changes in perfusion in patients with aSAH. Patients developing DCI tended to have progressively worsening CBF compared with those not developing DCI.