BACKGROUND: Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a disease with a high rate of unfavorable outcome, often related to delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI), i.e., ischemic injury that develops days-weeks after onset, with a multifactorial etiology. Disturbances in cerebral pressure autoregulation, the ability to maintain a steady cerebral blood flow (CBF), despite fluctuations in systemic blood pressure, have been suggested to play a role in the development of DCI. Pressure reactivity index (PRx) is a well-established measure of cerebral pressure autoregulation that has been used to study traumatic brain injury, but not extensively in SAH.
OBJECTIVE: To study the relation between PRx and CBF in SAH patients, and to examine if PRx can be used to predict DCI.
METHODS: Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data. PRx was calculated as the correlation coefficient between mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) and intracranial pressure (ICP) in a 5 min moving window. CBF was measured using bedside Xenon-CT (Xe-CT). DCI was diagnosed clinically.
RESULTS: 47 poor-grade mechanically ventilated patients were studied. Patients with disturbed pressure autoregulation (high PRx values) had lower CBF, as measured by bedside Xe-CT; both in the early (day 0-3) and late (day 4-14) acute phase of the disease. PRx did not differ significantly between patients who developed DCI or not.
CONCLUSION: In mechanically ventilated and sedated SAH patients, high PRx (more disturbed CBF pressure autoregulation) is associated with low CBF, both day 0-3 and day 4-14 after onset. The role of PRx as a monitoring tool in SAH patients needs further studying.