Hypoxia, hypercapnia, and hypertension: their effects on pulsatile cerebral blood flow
Pulsatile cerebral blood flow reflects characteristics of arterial blood pressure as well as the structure and mechanical properties of the cerebrovascular network. Although the effects of changes in systemic blood gases and blood pressure on mean cerebral flow are established, their effects on pulsatile cerebral blood flow are unknown. These studies assessed the effects of hypoxia-hypercapnia (combined; both arterial PO2 and PCO2 approximately 55 Torr) and acute hypertension (+30–35 mmHg by aortic occlusion) on pulsatile cerebral blood flow in ketamine-anesthetized rabbits. We characterized the relationship between pulsatile systemic blood pressure (Millar catheter) and cerebral cortical capillary blood-flow (laser-Doppler) by calculating the transfer function, a frequency-domain expression that relates amplitudes and phase angles of flow output to those of the pressure input. During hypoxia-hypercapnia, mean flow increased 17% (P < 0.001), but the amplitude and contour of pulsatile cortical blood flow were unchanged (P > 0.10). Although aortic occlusion, during hypoxia-hypercapnia as well as during normoxia-normocapnia, increased systemic pulse pressure by 40%, the amplitude of cortical flow pulsations was unaffected. Changes in dynamic properties of the cerebral vasculature (P < 0.0001 by analysis of the transfer function) minimized alterations in pulsatile cortical blood flow and thus intrabeat vessel wall stress during acute hypertension; on the basis of analysis of an electrical analogue, we propose that these changes reflect alterations in both resistance and compliance.
Curran-Everett, D; Zhang, Y; Jones, RH; Jones, MD
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