Eight stroke patients were examined serially in the acute phase and 1 week and 2-4 weeks after stroke with water-suppressed proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The time courses of lactate level and regional cerebral blood flow were studied. A high lactate level was found in the acute phase. The lactate content decreased to barely detectable levels during the following 3 weeks, while regional blood flow increased during this period. The inverse relationship between lactate level and cerebral blood flow suggests that lactate plays no substantial role in the vasodilatation underlying the hyperemia that follows reperfusion. The amount of lactate present in the acute phase reflects the severity of ischemia in the affected region. The lactate level was still above normal in the subacute phase with hyperemia, suggesting lactate production through aerobic glycolysis. Thus, the lactate level in the subacute phase probably does not reflect the degree of anaerobic glycolysis in hypoxic neuronal tissue.
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 1992, Vol 2, Issue 5, p. 511-517