Indexed on: 01 Feb '86Published on: 01 Feb '86Published in: Journal of neurosurgery
Mean hemispheric cerebral blood flow (CBF) was studied in 11 comatose brain-injured patients following intravenous administration of xenon-133. Repeated measurements were performed in order to evaluate cerebral vasoreactivity following a decrease in PaCO2. In addition, the effect of induced barbiturate coma was evaluated in patients with intracranial hypertension. The cerebral vasoreactivity and the CBF response following induction of barbiturate coma varied. In patients with normal CO2 reactivity, barbiturate treatment was accompanied by a considerable decrease in CBF as compared to patients with decreased or abolished CO2 response. During barbiturate treatment the intracranial pressure (ICP) became normal in three of four patients with preserved CO2 response, but reached normal levels in only one of five patients with impaired CO2 reactivity. Patients whose ICP became normal recovered. The data suggest a positive correlation between CO2 reactivity and the effect of barbiturate treatment. Furthermore, preserved cerebral vasoreactivity after severe head injury may be of prognostic value.