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Although the assessment of dynamic cerebral autoregulation (CA) based on measurements of spontaneous fluctuations in arterial blood pressure (ABP) and cerebral blood flow (CBF) is a convenient and much used method, there remains uncertainty about its reliability. We tested the effects of increasing ABP variability, provoked by a modification of the thigh cuff method, on the ability of the autoregulation index to discriminate between normal and impaired CA, using hypercapnia as a surrogate for dynamic CA impairment. In 30 healthy volunteers, ABP (Finapres) and CBF velocity (CBFV, transcranial Doppler) were recorded at rest and during 5% CO(2) breathing, with and without pseudo-random sequence inflation and deflation of bilateral thigh cuffs. The application of thigh cuffs increased ABP and CBFV variabilities and was not associated with a distortion of the CBFV step response estimates for both normocapnic and hypercapnic conditions (P=0.59 and P=0.96, respectively). Sensitivity and specificity of CA impairment detection were improved with the thigh cuff method, with the area under the receiver-operator curve increasing from 0.746 to 0.859 (P=0.031). We conclude that the new method is a safe, efficient, and appealing alternative to currently existing assessment methods for the investigation of the status of CA.


Emmanuel Katsogridakis, Glen Bush, Lingke Fan, Anthony A Birch, David M Simpson, Robert Allen, John F Potter, Ronney B Panerai. Detection of impaired cerebral autoregulation improves by increasing arterial blood pressure variability. Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. 2013 Apr;33(4):519-23

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PMID: 23232946

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