Anesthesia Depresses Cerebrovascular Reactivity to Acetazolamide in Pediatric Moyamoya Vasculopathy

Pieter T Deckers, Jeroen CW Siero, Maarten O Mensink, Annick Kronenburg, Kees P J Braun, Albert van der Zwan, Alex A Bhogal

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Measurements of cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) are essential for treatment decisions in moyamoya vasculopathy (MMV). Since MMV patients are often young or cognitively impaired, anesthesia is commonly used to limit motion artifacts. Our aim was to investigate the effect of anesthesia on the CVR in pediatric MMV. We compared the CVR with multidelay-ASL and BOLD MRI, using acetazolamide as a vascular stimulus, in all awake and anesthesia pediatric MMV scans at our institution. Since a heterogeneity in disease and treatment influences the CVR, we focused on the (unaffected) cerebellum. Ten awake and nine anesthetized patients were included. The post-acetazolamide CBF and ASL-CVR were significantly lower in anesthesia patients (47.1 ± 15.4 vs. 61.4 ± 12.1, p = 0.04; 12.3 ± 8.4 vs. 23.7 ± 12.2 mL/100 g/min, p = 0.03, respectively). The final BOLD-CVR increase (0.39 ± 0.58 vs. 3.6 ± 1.2% BOLD-change (mean/SD), p < 0.0001), maximum slope of increase (0.0050 ± 0.0040%/s vs. 0.017 ± 0.0059%, p < 0.0001), and time to maximum BOLD-increase (~463 ± 136 and ~697 ± 144 s, p = 0.0028) were all significantly lower in the anesthesia group. We conclude that the response to acetazolamide is distinctively different between awake and anesthetized MMV patients, and we hypothesize that these findings can also apply to other diseases and methods of measuring CVR under anesthesia. Considering that treatment decisions heavily depend on CVR status, caution is warranted when assessing CVR under anesthesia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4393
JournalJournal of Clinical medicine
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • ASL
  • BOLD
  • acetazolamide
  • anesthesia
  • cerebrovascular reactivity
  • moyamoya


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