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Postocclusive Cerebral Hyperemia Is Markedly Attenuated By Chronic Trigeminal Ganglionectomy

M. A. Moskowitz, D. E. Sakas, E. P. Wei, M. Kano, M. G. Buzzi, C. Ogilvy, H. A. Kontos

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Marked hyperemia may develop in brain following temporary cessation of blood flow and is associated with the morbidity following cardiac arrest, stroke, and head injury. Regional cerebral blood flow was measured using radiolabeled microspheres and compared in 10 symmetrical regions after chronic unilateral trigeminal ganglionectomy (n = 8), trigeminal rhizotomy (n = 4), or sham operation (n = 4) following 10 min of combined brachiocephalic-left subclavian occlusion and hypotension (mean arterial blood pressure less than 50 mmHg) in cats. Blood flow was symmetrical at rest in the three groups and was undetectable during the ischemic period. Within 30 min after re-establishing flow, values in cortical gray matter increased symmetrically to approximately 250 ml.100 g-1.min-1 in the rhizotomy and the sham groups. Increases of similar magnitude were measured on the intact side following trigeminal ganglionectomy but flow was attenuated by greater than 50% ipsilateral to the ganglionectomy. Marked hyperemia developed during reperfusion in thalamus, caudate, deep cortical white matter, midbrain, and pons, but no asymmetries were present in the three groups. These data suggest that cortical hyperemia is mediated by trigeminal neurogenic mechanisms via axonal reflexlike mechanisms and suggest the importance of therapeutic strategies based on blockade of this nerve or its constituent neuropeptides.