Acute ischemic stroke is a major health problem in Western countries with a high mortality rate and a high risk for permanent disabilities. In 2018, a cohort study with 113 patients showed a preliminary evidence of neuroprotective effect of selective therapeutic hypothermia. In that study, intra- arterial, time-limited blood cooling by means of infusion of cold saline in combination with endovascular mechanical thrombectomy significantly reduced the final infarct volume. A recently developed catheter system enables to combine endovascular blood cooling and thrombectomy using the same endovascular access. By using the penumbral perfusion via leptomeningeal collaterals, the catheter aims at enabling a cold reperfusion, which mitigates the risk of a reperfusion injury. However, cerebral circulation is highly patient-specific and can vary greatly. Since direct measurement of remaining perfusion and temperature decrease induced by the catheter is not possible without additional harm to the patient, computational modeling provides an alternative to gain knowledge about resulting cerebral temperature decrease. In this work, we present a brain temperature model with a realistic division into gray and white matter and consideration of spatially resolved perfusion. Furthermore, it includes detailed anatomy of cerebral circulation with possibility of personalizing on base of real patient anatomy. For evaluation of catheter performance in terms of cold reperfusion and to analyze its general performance, we calculated the decrease in brain temperature in case of a large vessel occlusion in the middle cerebral artery (MCA) for different scenarios of cerebral arterial anatomy. Congenital arterial variations in the circle of Willis had a distinct influence on the cooling effect and the resulting spatial temperature distribution before vessel recanalization. Independent of the branching configurations, the model predicted a cold reperfusion due to a strong temperature decrease after recanalization (1.4-2.2°C after 25min of cooling, recanalization after 20min of cooling). Our model illustrates the effectiveness of endovascular cooling in combination with mechanical thrombectomy and serves as an adequate substitute for temperature measurement in a clinical setting in assence of direct intraparenchymal temperature probes.
Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) is an approved neuroproctetive treatment to reduce neurological morbidity and mortality after hypoxic-ischemic damage related to cardiac arrest and neonatal asphyxia. Also in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke (AIS), which in Western countries still shows a very high mortality rate of about 25 %, selective mild TH by means of Targeted Temperature Management (TTM) could potentially decrease final infarct volume. In this respect, a novel intracarotid blood cooling catheter system has recently been developed, which allows for combined carotid blood cooling and mechanical thrombectomy (MT) and aims at selective mild TH in the affected ischemic brain (core and penumbra). Unfortunately, so far direct measurement and control of cooled cerebral temperature requires invasive or elaborate MRI-assisted measurements. Computational modeling provides unique opportunities to predict the resulting cerebral temperatures on the other hand. In this work, a simplified 3D brain model was generated and coupled with a 1D hemodynamics model to predict spatio-temporal cerebral temperature profiles using finite element modeling. Cerebral blood and tissue temperatures as well as the systemic temperature were analyzed for physiological conditions as well as for a middle cerebral artery (MCA) M1 occlusion. Furthermore, vessel recanalization and its effect on cerebral temperature was analyzed. The results show a significant influence of collateral flow on the cooling effect and are in accordance with experimental data in animals. Our model predicted a possible neuroprotective temperature decrease of 2.5 ℃ for the territory of MCA perfusion after 60 min of blood cooling, which underlines the potential of the new device and the use of TTM in case of AIS.
Y. Lutz, A. Loewe, S. Meckel, O. Dössel, and G. Cattaneo. Combined local hypothermia and recanalization therapy for acute ischemic stroke: Estimation of brain and systemic temperature using an energetic numerical model.. In Journal of Thermal Biology, vol. 84, pp. 316-322, 2019
Local brain hypothermia is an attractive method for providing cerebral neuroprotection for ischemic stroke patients and at the same time reducing systemic side effects of cooling. In acute ischemic stroke patients with large vessel occlusion, combination with endovascular mechanical recanalization treatment could potentially allow for an alleviation of inflammatory and apoptotic pathways in the critical phase of reperfusion. The direct cooling of arterial blood by means of an intra-carotid heat exchange catheter compatible with recanalization systems is a novel promising approach. Focusing on the concept of "cold reperfusion", we developed an energetic model to calculate the rate of temperature decrease during intra-carotid cooling in case of physiological as well as decreased perfusion. Additionally, we discussed and considered the effect and biological significance of temperature decrease on resulting brain perfusion. Our model predicted a 2 °C brain temperature decrease in 8.3, 11.8 and 26.2 min at perfusion rates of 50, 30 and 10ml100g⋅min, respectively. The systemic temperature decrease - caused by the venous blood return to the main circulation - was limited to 0.5 °C in 60 min. Our results underline the potential of catheter-assisted, intracarotid blood cooling to provide a fast and selective brain temperature decrease in the phase of vessel recanalization. This method can potentially allow for a tissue hypothermia during the restoration of the physiological flow and thus a "cold reperfusion" in the setting of mechanical recanalization.