Reliable assessment of cerebrovascular effectiveness in buffering against pressure fluctuations may have important implications for the timing and the outcome of therapy after adverse cerebrovascular events. Though linear approaches may indicate the presence or absence of cerebral autoregulation, they are inadequate to describe its characteristics and its effectiveness. Establishing a simple yet robust methodology to reliably measure the effectiveness of cerebral autoregulation could provide a tool to guide screening and clinical options to characterize and treat adverse cerebrovascular events associated with alterations in cerebral perfusion. To test the utility of one such methodology, an oscillatory lower body negative pressure of 30 - 40 mmHg was used at 6 frequencies from 0.03 to 0.08 Hz in 43 healthy volunteers, and the pressure - flow relation and the effectiveness of autoregulation was quantified using projection pursuit regression. Projection pursuit regression explained the majority of the relationship between pressure and cerebral blood flow fluctuations, and revealed its nature consistently across individuals and across separate study days. The nature of this relationship entailed an autoregulatory region wherein slow arterial pressure fluctuations are effectively counter-regulated and two passive regions wherein pressure fluctuations resulted in parallel changes in flow. The effectiveness of autoregulation was significantly reduced as pressure fluctuations become faster. These results demonstrate the characteristic relationship between arterial pressure and cerebral blood flow. Furthermore, the methodology utilized in this study provides a tool that can provide unique insight to integrated cerebrovascular control, and that may allow diagnosis of physiological alterations underlying impaired cerebral autoregulation.
- Cerebral autoregulation
- Cerebral blood flow
- Transcranial Doppler
- Copyright © 2012, Journal of Applied Physiology