Enhancing cerebral perfusion with external counterpulsation after ischaemic stroke: How long does it last?

L. Xiong, W. Lin, J. Han, Xiangyan Chen, T. Leung, Y. Soo, L.K.S. Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016, BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved.Objective: External counterpulsation (ECP) is a noninvasive method used to augment cerebral perfusion in ischaemic stroke. We aimed to investigate time-course effects on blood pressure elevation and cerebral blood flow augmentation induced by ECP in ischaemic stroke. Methods: Patients with acute unilateral ischaemic stroke and large artery occlusive disease were recruited to receive 35 daily 1 h ECP treatment sessions. Serial transcranial Doppler monitoring of bilateral middle cerebral arteries was performed on days 3, 5, 7, 10, 14, 21, 28 and 35 after stroke onset. Flow velocity changes before, during and after ECP and continuous beat-to-beat blood pressure data were recorded. The cerebral augmentation index (CAI) is the increase in the percentage of the middle cerebral artery mean flow velocity during ECP compared with baseline. Results: The CAI in patients with stroke was significantly higher on the ipsilateral side and on the contralateral side on day 3 (ipsilateral CAI, 9.3%; contralateral CAI, 7.2%), day 5 (7.0%; 6.7%), day 7 (6.8%; 6.0%), day 10 (6.0%; 5.1%), day 14 (4.7%; 2.6%) and day 21 (4.1%; 2.2%) after stroke onset than that in controls (-2.0%) (all p<0.05). There was a significant trend of decreasing CAI on the ipsilateral and contralateral sides over time after a stroke. Differences in the percentage increase in the mean blood pressure did not change significantly over time in patients with stroke. Conclusions: Blood pressure elevation persists throughout ECP treatment, which consists of 35 sessions. However, cerebral blood flow augmentation may last at least 3 weeks and then appears to return to baseline 1 month after acute stroke onset.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-536
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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