Reversible ischemia around intracerebral hemorrhage: a single-photon emission computerized tomography study.J Neurosurg. 2002 Apr; 96(4):736-41.JN
A zone of perilesional ischemia has been demonstrated around intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in numerous experimental models and in human studies. There is potential for perfusion recovery in the zone of perilesional oligemia around ICH. The authors sought to demonstrate, quantify, and study the chronological evolution of perilesional ischemic change in ICH in humans by measuring cerebral blood flow.
Eleven patients with spontaneous supratentorial ICH underwent two technetium-99m hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) scanning, one in the acute stage (within days of ictus) and the other in the late stage (6-9 months postictus). All patients in this study were treated nonsurgically. Methods of SPECT data analysis based on count differences in regions of interest can be difficult to apply to images with large space-occupying lesions such as ICH, because of the distortion of intracranial anatomy, midline shift, and alterations in the three-dimensional (3D) characteristics of the lesion over time (that is, absorption of the hematoma on the later studies). The authors used the following method: the late and early images were registered and aligned to a common 3D orientation and were normalized to maximal counts. The late images were then compared voxel by voxel with the early ones. The region-growing algorithm was used to discern the difference between the two images, outlining voxels in the perihematoma region, with a signal improvement of at least 15% on the late image. Discrete brain regions around the hematoma with at least a 15% improvement in radiotracer uptake (and hence perfusion) in the late images were observed in all cases. The mean volume of brain with a greater than 15% improvement in perfusion between the two studies was 34.8 cm3 (range 7.2-71.3 cm3). These volumes represent regions of the brain that were poorly perfused in the initial studies. This may represent a zone of reversible perilesional oligemia (penumbra) in ICH in humans.
This is the first study in which it is documented that some of the perilesional hypoperfused tissue around human ICH regains its perfusion in the long term, leading the authors to suggest that there may be a penumbra in human ICH. Medical or surgical therapeutic interventions could increase the volume of perilesional brain that recovers after the initial insult. The results of this study therefore support the concept that intervention in ICH has the potential to reduce the ultimate neurological deficit and improve outcome.