Measurements of Regional Cerebral Blood Flow and Blood Flow Velocity in Experimental Intracranial Hypertension: Infusion via the Cisterna Magna in Rabbits

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Cerebral blood flow velocity, as measured in the intracranial segment of the internal carotid artery by transcranial Doppler sonography via the transorbital route, and regional cerebral blood flow and volume in corresponding cortical areas, as measured by the hydrogen clearance technique, were recorded for eight New Zealand White rabbits subjected to infusion via the cisterna magna to elevate intracranial pressure. In the lower range of autoregulation, that is, at perfusion pressures between 80 and 40 mm Hg and even lower, the changes in cerebral blood flow velocity and cerebral blood flow showed a strong correlation (0.86) under conditions of standard pCO2 (PaCO2 = 35 ± 2 mm Hg). Autoregulation was exhausted at 40 mm Hg, and the cerebrovascular resistance was minimal. Below this perfusion pressure, the cerebral blood flow and volume dropped sharply, whereas the cerebrovascular resistance gradually increased, indicating that, despite the max-imally dilated resistance vessels, intracranial hypertension causes vascular resistance to increase, possibly via blocking of the venous outflow. Our results confirmed that noninvasive and easily (even at bedside) applicable measurements of changes in cerebral blood flow velocity could be a substitute for the cumbersome and expensive isotope measurements of cerebral blood flow in patients with intracranial hypertension. (Neurosurgery 28:821-825, 1991)

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