Novel Insights into Pathophysiology of Delayed Cerebral Ischemia: Effects of Current Rescue Therapy on Microvascular Perfusion Heterogeneity
General microvascular perfusion and its heterogeneity are pathophysiological features of delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) that are gaining increasing attention. Recently, CT perfusion (CTP) imaging has made it possible to evaluate them radiologically using mean transit time (MTT) and its heterogeneity (measured by cvMTT). This study evaluates the effect of multimodal rescue therapy (intra-arterial nimodipine administration and elevation of blood pressure) on MTT and cvMTT during DCI in aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (aSAH) patients. A total of seventy-nine aSAH patients who underwent multimodal rescue therapy between May 2012 and December 2019 were retrospectively included in this study. CTP-based perfusion impairment (MTT and cvMTT) on the day of DCI diagnosis was compared with follow-up CTP after initiation of combined multimodal therapy. The mean MTT was significantly reduced in the follow-up CTP compared to the first CTP (3.7 ± 0.7 s vs. 3.3 ± 0.6 s; p < 0.0001). However, no significant reduction of cvMTT was observed (0.16 ± 0.06 vs. 0.15 ± 0.06; p = 0.44). Mean arterial pressure was significantly increased between follow-up and first CTP (98 ± 17 mmHg vs. 104 ± 15 mmHg; p < 0.0001). The combined multimodal rescue therapy was effective in addressing the general microvascular perfusion impairment but did not affect the mechanisms underlying microvascular perfusion heterogeneity. This highlights the need for research into new therapeutic approaches that also target these pathophysiological mechanisms of DCI.