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Neurology. 2012 Jan 24;78(4):250-5. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31824365d3. Epub 2012 Jan 11.

Cerebral hemodynamics and cognitive impairment: baseline data from the RECON trial.

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Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.



To determine whether unihemispheral hemodynamic failure is independently associated with cognitive impairment among participants in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke-sponsored, multicenter, randomized clinical trial, Randomized Evaluation of Carotid Occlusion and Neurocognition (RECON).


Forty-three patients were randomized into RECON after recent symptomatic carotid artery occlusion and asymmetrically increased oxygen extraction fraction (OEF) by PET (OEF ratio >1.13), indicating stage II hemodynamic failure on the side of occlusion. The PET-positive patients were compared with 28 RECON-enrolled patients who met all clinical and radiographic inclusion/exclusion criteria but had no OEF asymmetry. A multivariable regression compared patients with PET OEF >1.13 or ≤1.13, stratifying by TIA vs. stroke as the qualifying event. The dependent variable was a composite neurocognitive score derived from averaging age-normalized z scores on a test battery that included global and internal carotid artery (ICA) side-relevant hemisphere-specific tests.


There were no differences in demographic, clinical, or radiologic characteristics between the PET-positive and PET-negative patients except for PET OEF asymmetry. The unadjusted average neurocognitive z score was -1.45 for the PET-positive and -1.25 for the PET-negative patients, indicating cognitive impairment in both groups but no difference between them (p = 0.641). After adjustment for age, education, side of occlusion, depression, and previous stroke, there was a significant difference between PET-positive and PET-negative patients among those with TIA as a qualifying event (average z score = -1.41 vs. -0.76, p = 0.040). Older age and right ICA side were also significant in this model.


Hemodynamic failure is independently associated with cognitive impairment in patients with carotid occlusion. This finding establishes the physiologic parameter upon which the extracranial-intracranial bypass will be tested.

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