Detection of impaired cerebral autoregulation improves by increasing arterial blood pressure variability

Authors: Emmanuel Katsogridakis, Glen Bush, Lingke Fan, Anthony A Birch, David M Simpson, Robert Allen, John F Potter and Ronney B Panerai

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% CO2 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.

Full text and source: Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism

Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, (12 December 2012) | doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2012.191