Auditory stimulation increases mean blood flow velocity (MBFV) in the middle cerebral artery (MCA). Our aim was to monitor such changes in the affected MCA in patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) and to compare them with healthy individuals.
The study included 113 examinees (52 non-thrombolysed patients admitted to the hospital within 24 hours of AIS onset, and 61 healthy individuals). A baseline MCA MBFV was recorded by means of transcranial Doppler (TCD). In stroke patients only the affected MCA was insonated while in healthy controls both MCAs were recorded. MCA MBFV was monitored during listening to relaxing music for 2 minutes. The first response of MBFV increase was measured as time (Tmax) and percentage of change in amplitude (Amax). Pearson Chi-Square test was used for intergroup comparison.
At baseline, stroke patients had lower MCA MBFV than healthy individuals (P < 0.01). In both groups there was an increase in MBFV compared to baseline values as a reaction to the music. Tmax in stroke group (15.87 ± 7.72) was significantly longer (P < 0.01) than Tmax in control group (9.34 ± 6.16). There was no statistically significant difference in Amax between the two groups.
Even though stroke patients with MCA branch occlusion have impaired blood flow in the affected MCA, music is still an effective auditory stimulus. However, their time of reaction to the music was prolonged when compared to healthy controls.