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J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2010 Nov-Dec;19(6):465-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2010.06.001.

Spontaneous low-frequency oscillations in cerebral vessels: applications in carotid artery disease and ischemic stroke.

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1
Danish Headache Center, Department of Neurology, Glostrup Hospital, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Glostrup, Denmark. henrikschytz@dadlnet.com

Abstract

The etiology behind and physiological significance of spontaneous oscillations in the low-frequency spectrum in both systemic and cerebral vessels remain unknown. Experimental studies have proposed that spontaneous oscillations in cerebral blood flow reflect impaired cerebral autoregulation (CA). Analysis of CA by measurement of spontaneous oscillations in the low-frequency spectrum in cerebral vessels might be a useful tool for assessing risk and investigating different treatment strategies in carotid artery disease (CAD) and stroke. We reviewed studies exploring spontaneous oscillations in the low-frequency spectrum in patients with CAD and ischemic stroke, conditions known to involve impaired CA. Several studies have reported changes in oscillations after CAD and stroke after surgery and over time compared with healthy controls. Phase shift in the frequency domain and correlation coefficients in the time domain are the most frequently used parameters for analyzing spontaneous oscillations in systemic and cerebral vessels. At present, there is no gold standard for analyzing spontaneous oscillations in the low-frequency spectrum, and simplistic models of CA have failed to predict or explain the spontaneous oscillation changes found in CAD and stroke studies. Near-infrared spectroscopy is suggested as a future complementary tool for assessing changes affecting the cortical arterial system.

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