In patients with a high-degree of internal carotid artery stenosis, cerebral hemodynamics and metabolism are compromised during ischemia. Revascularization improves cortical hemodynamics and oxygen metabolism during functional activity, but the process by which it occurs is still controversial. Therefore, using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), we investigated the process by which cerebral hemodynamics improve after revascularization surgery. Eight patients with severe carotid artery stenosis were examined using fNIRS during a motor task before and after surgery. We evaluated postoperative changes in total hemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin (HbR), at 2 weeks after surgery, and again at 3 months after surgery. Parameters measured were the TTP0.7 (time to peak) value, defined as the time taken to reach 70% of the maximum total hemoglobin concentration, and the increase in HbR during the motor task. TTP0.7 was higher in four patients preoperatively, but this was no longer evident in two of the patients at 2 weeks after surgery. An increase in HbR during the task was observed in six patients before surgery, and was maintained at 2 weeks after surgery. However, in three of these patients, this increase was no longer evident 3 months later. These changes observed using fNIRS suggest that the increase in cerebral blood flow after revascularization surgery is followed by improvement in parenchymal vasodilation and neuronal oxygen metabolism.
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