Cerebral autoregulation in orthostatic hypotension. A transcranial Doppler study.
Transcranial Doppler measurements of blood flow velocity permit an assessment of variations in intracranial hemodynamics in response to acute arterial pressure variations. The purpose of this study was to scan healthy volunteers and patients with autonomic failure for differences in cerebral hemodynamic patterns under an acute hypotensive stimulus.
We used transcranial Doppler monitoring of blood flow velocity in the middle cerebral artery and noninvasive monitoring of arterial blood pressure and heart rate before, during, and after acute arterial hypotension induced by reactive hyperemia of the lower limbs.
After maximum hypotension, the mean blood flow velocity was higher in the healthy volunteers than in the patients. In the healthy subjects mean velocity rose significantly (P < .01) higher than arterial blood pressure after 30 seconds and 60 seconds; in the patients mean velocity and arterial pressure moved in parallel fashion. The diastolic blood flow velocity increased more in the control group than in the patients during the early stages of the test; furthermore, only in the healthy volunteers did it increase significantly more than arterial pressure after 30 seconds and 60 seconds. Regarding the pulsatility index, the differences between the two groups were similar to the diastolic velocity results.
(1) Monitoring of mean blood flow velocity showed the ability to maintain an adequate cerebral blood flow in healthy subjects; this mechanism was not efficient in the patients with autonomic failure. (2) Diastolic velocity and pulsatility index values clearly showed that only in healthy subjects were cerebral hemodynamics relatively independent of pressure values.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association