Blood Velocity in the Middle Cerebral Artery and Regional Cerebral Blood Flow During Carotid Endarterectomy

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Blood flow velocity in the middle cerebral artery, determined by transcranial Doppler ultrasonography, was monitored during 31 carotid endarterectomies. Electroencephalogram (EEG) was also monitored, and regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured. The relation between rCBF and mean velocity was dependent on the rCBF level; the correlation was strong if rCBF was less than 20 ml/100 g/min but weak if rCBF was greater than that level. Ipsilateral EEG suppression was related to a rCBF threshold of 9 ml/100 g/min and to a mean velocity threshold of 15 cm/sec; the rCBF threshold was more specific for EEG change. Postischemic hyperemia was evident in measurements of mean velocity but not of rCBF. These disparities between mean velocity and rCBF seemed to be due to three factors: 1) disproportionately high mean velocity in patients with stenosis of the middle cerebral artery, 2) a nonlinear relation between mean velocity and rCBF, and 3) the anatomically different regions of the brain in which mean velocity and rCBF are measured. The velocity measurement appeared to be relatively more sensitive than rCBF to hemodynamic events in the corpus striatum and internal capsule. (Stroke 1989;20:53–58)

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