Doppler ultrasound was used to measure blood flow velocity in the anterior cerebral artery of six premature infants with posthaemorrhagic hydrocephalus, before and after intermittent cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage, on 23 occasions. There was a significant increase in mean blood flow velocity after the drainage procedures (+5.6 cm/s, 95% confidence interval +2.9 to +8.3 cm/s), which was accompanied by a decrease in velocity waveform pulsatility. CSF pressure also fell significantly. In patients with posthaemorrhagic hydrocephalus, intermittent CSF drainage was associated with acute changes in cerebral haemodynamics.
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