Cerebral cortical and white matter reactivity to carbon dioxide.
We measured cerebrovascular reactivity to carbon dioxide in the cerebral cortex and the subcortical white matter of 12 healthy adult volunteers (four young subjects aged 21-24, four middle-aged subjects aged 34-40, and four elderly subjects aged 62-85 years). Blood flow was computed from the concentration history of xenon-133 in the volume of interest measured with an ultrapure germanium detector array. End-tidal PaCO2 ranged from 35.4 to 42.6 mm Hg. The mean +/- SD baseline blood flows in the cerebral cortex were 60 +/- 7, 51 +/- 9, and 33 +/- 4 ml/100 cm3/min in the young, the middle-aged, and the elderly subjects, respectively; the corresponding subcortical white matter baseline blood flows were 21 +/- 1, 22 +/- 3, and 16 +/- 5 ml/100 cm3/min. Mean +/- SD cerebrovascular reactivities to carbon dioxide in the cerebral cortex were 2.03 +/- 0.58, 1.36 +/- 0.41, and 0.72 +/- 0.19 ml/100 cm3/min/mm Hg PaCO2 for the young, the middle-aged, and the elderly subjects, respectively; the corresponding reactivities in the subcortical white matter were 0.69 +/- 0.11, 0.59 +/- 0.17, and 0.36 +/- 0.41 ml/100 cm3/min/mm Hg PaCO2. Blood flow and cerebrovascular reactivity in the cerebral cortex of the young subjects were significantly higher than those for white matter and significantly higher than those in the elderly subjects (p less than 0.001). Age vs. blood flow (for the cortex) and age vs. cerebrovascular reactivity (for both cortical gray and subcortical white matter) also showed significant linear correlation (p less than 0.05). However, the age-related changes in white matter blood flow and cerebrovascular reactivity were slow, and the differences among the age groups were not statistically significant.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association