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Cerebral blood flow and brain shrinkage seen on CT during ACTH therapy

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      By means of the Doppler ultrasound method, the cerebral blood flow (CBF) was assessed in 21 children with epilepsy undergoing treatment with adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH). The maximum reduction in the internal carotid velocity, as an index of CBF during therapy, was about 35 percent compared with the values before therapy. Furthermore, sequential computed tomography (CT) examinations of the same subjects were performed to evaluate the change in the area of the intracranial brain parenchyma during therapy. The maximum reduction in the parenchymal area during therapy was about 10 percent. This corresponds to a 20 percent reduction in CBF according to Poiseuille's law, however, the remaining reduction in CBF demonstrated by velocity measurement cannot be explained only by that mechanical vascular factor.
      From these findings, it is concluded that in order to elucidate the mechanism of the CBF reduction, physiological factors such as changes in metabolism during therapy should also be evaluated in addition to the mechanical and physical causes.

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