European Journal of Anaesthesiology

Original Article

Induced arterial hypotension for interventional thoracic aortic stent-graft placement: impact on intracranial haemodynamics and cognitive function

G. von Knobelsdorff a1c1, R. M. Höppner a1, P. H. Tonner a1, A. Paris a1, C. A. Nienaber a2, J. Scholz a1 and J. Schulte am Esch a1
a1 University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Department of Anaesthesiology, Hamburg, Germany
a2 University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Department of Cardiology, Hamburg, Germany

Article author query
von knobelsdorff g   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
hoppner rm   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
tonner ph   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
paris a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
nienaber ca   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
scholz j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
schulte am esch j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Background and objective: The study investigated the impact of induced arterial hypotension for the facilitation of endovascular stent-graft placement in patients with thoracic aortic aneurysm on cerebral blood flow velocity and neurological/neurocognitive outcome.

Methods: In 27 ASA III patients, cerebral blood flow velocity was recorded during induced arterial hypotension for endovascular stent-graft placement using transcranial Doppler sonography and the Folstein Mini Mental State Examination and the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale were performed before and after the intervention.

Results: Mean arterial pressure was decreased <50 mmHg, and in 22 patients it was <40 mmHg. Diastolic cerebral blood flow velocity decreased by 59%. Postoperatively, six of 21 patients exhibited changes in the Folstein Mini Mental State Examination and four of these six patients in the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale as indices of new-found neurocognitive dysfunction, but there were no signs of stroke. Loss of the diastolic blood flow profile was detected in two of six patients with new-found neurocognitive dysfunctions and in 18 of 21 patients with no new-found neurocognitive dysfunction. Changes in the Folstein Mini Mental State Examination on postoperative day 1 were correlated to the pre-procedural Folstein Mini Mental State Examination, but not to the time spent with a mean arterial pressure <50 mmHg, <40 mmHg or with a loss of diastolic blood flow profile.

Conclusions: Transcranial Doppler sonography visualizes the individual effect of induced hypotension and the period of intracranial circulatory arrest during aortic stent-graft placement. However, transient new-found neurocognitive dysfunctions occur independently of the transcranial Doppler data, and are in close correlation to the neurocognitive state before the procedure. The results suggest that induced arterial hypotension is not the major factor for postoperative new-found neurocognitive dysfunction.

(Accepted March 2002)

Key Words: ANAESTHESIA, GENERAL; ANEURYSM, aortic aneurysm, thoracic; CARDIOVASCULAR SURGICAL PROCEDURES; aortic vascular surgical procedures, blood vessel prosthesis implantation; DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES, CARDIOVASCULAR, blood flow velocity; HAEMODYNAMICS, regional blood flow; MENTAL PROCESSES, cognition.

c1 Correspondence to: Georg von Knobelsdorff, Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, St Bernward Hospital, D-31134 Hildesheim, Germany. E-mail:; Tel: +49 5121 90 5424; Fax: +49 5121 90 1244