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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2013 Jul;33(7):1000-7. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2013.42. Epub 2013 Mar 20.

Laser speckle imaging allows real-time intraoperative blood flow assessment during neurosurgical procedures.

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Department of Neurosurgery and Center for Stroke-research Berlin (CSB), Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


Currently, there is no adequate technique for intraoperative monitoring of cerebral blood flow (CBF). To evaluate laser speckle imaging (LSI) for assessment of relative CBF, LSI was performed in 30 patients who underwent direct surgical revascularization for treatment of arteriosclerotic cerebrovascular disease (ACVD), Moyamoya disease (MMD), or giant aneurysms, and in 8 control patients who underwent intracranial surgery for reasons other than hemodynamic compromise. The applicability and sensitivity of LSI was investigated through baseline perfusion and CO2 reactivity testing. The dynamics of LSI were assessed during bypass test occlusion and flow initiation procedures. Laser speckle imaging permitted robust (pseudo-) quantitative assessment of relative microcirculatory flow and standard bypass grafting resulted in significantly higher postoperative baseline perfusion values in ACVD and MMD. The applicability and sensitivity of LSI was shown by a significantly reduced CO2 reactivity in ACVD (9.6±9%) and MMD (8.5±8%) compared with control (31.2±5%; P<0.0001). In high- and intermediate-flow bypass patients, LSI was characterized by a dynamic real-time response to acute perfusion changes and ultimately confirmed a sufficient flow substitution through the bypass graft. Thus, LSI can be used for sensitive and continuous, non-invasive real-time visualization and measurement of relative cortical CBF in excellent spatial-temporal resolution.

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