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Internal Carotid Artery Blood Flow Velocities Before, During, and After Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

Regina M. Lohrer, MD; Raul F. Bejar, MD; Aaron J. Simko, MD; Steven L. Moulton, MD; J. Devn Cornish, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(2):201-207. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160140067024.
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• Blood flow velocities in the internal carotid arteries were studied with pulsed Doppler in 25 neonatal patients (birth weight range, 2600 to 4100 g) who had extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Time averaged mean systolic, mean diastolic, and mean blood flow velocities were calculated. Five infants had right common carotid artery reconstruction. Blood flow velocities measured in 15 healthy full-term infants were used as controls. Findings during ECMO included the following: (1) forward flow in the right internal carotid artery in 50% of the infants; (2) significant increase in the mean diastolic and the mean flow velocities (48% and 128%, respectively) in the left internal carotid artery when compared with pre-ECMO and control infants' values; (3) the elevation in the mean and the mean diastolic velocities was associated with changes in the PaCO2 and with an increase in the diastolic blood pressure; and (4) forward blood velocities in the right internal carotid artery were comparable with blood velocities in the left internal carotid artery and with the blood velocities of control infants. After ECMO, the mean diastolic velocity in the left internal carotid artery decreased significantly, but it remained elevated when compared with pre-ECMO values. Infants with right common carotid reconstruction had blood velocities in the right internal carotid artery comparable with the simultaneous blood velocities in the left internal carotid artery and to the blood velocities of control infants. Twenty-eight percent of the infants had major neuroanatomic lesions. Right or left preponderance was not noted. No association between blood velocity values in the internal carotid arteries or flow direction and the presence or the absence of brain lesions was noted.

(AJDC. 1992;146:201-207)

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