Publication: Evaluation of cerebral hemodynamic status in patients with unilateral symptomatic carotid artery stenosis during motor tasks, through use of transcranial Doppler sonography
Background: Carotid artery stenosis increases cerebral ischemic event risk through changing different cerebral hemodynamic parameters. Objective: To investigate how cerebral hemodynamics in the M1 segment of middle cerebral artery change in patients with carotid artery stenosis, after motor tasks using transcranial Doppler sonography (TCD). Methods: Thirty-two healthy subjects and 30 patients with unilateral symptomatic carotid artery stenosis were recruited. The patient population was divided into three groups according to the degree of stenosis (group 1: >_50 to 69%, group 2: 70 to 89% and group 3: >_90 to 99%). TCD was used to measure the pulsatility index (PI) and cerebral vasomotor reactivity (CVR). Results: In the patient group, significant differences for symptomatic side PI values (p=0.01) and mean CVR increases (p=0.05) were observed, compared with the healthy controls. However, the difference was not statistically significant for asymptomatic side PI values and mean CVR increases. The results from the intergroup comparison showed significantly higher percentages of symptomatic and asymptomatic side CVR increases in group 1, compared with groups 2 and 3 (p=0.001 and p=0.002, respectively). Conclusions: Our study showed that cerebral autoregulation and hemodynamic mechanisms are impaired in patients with carotid artery stenosis. Furthermore, the impairment of PI and CVR tends to get worse with increasing degrees of stenosis. In addition, this study demonstrated that assessment of these two hemodynamic parameters in clinical practice might be helpful for monitoring the progress of carotid artery stenosis.