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Am J Physiol. 1995 Aug;269(2 Pt 2):R274-9.

Continuous measurement of blood flow in the superior sagittal sinus of the lamb.

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Institute of Reproduction and Development, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.


We assessed the validity of recording blood flow in the superior sagittal sinus (Qss) as a measure of cerebral blood flow (CBF). While anesthetized, 10 lambs were instrumented with a transit-time ultrasonic flow probe around the superior sagittal sinus to measure Qss, electrodes to assess sleep state, catheters to measure cerebral perfusion pressure (Pcp), and an occlusive cuff around the common brachiocephalic artery to vary blood pressure. After 72 h recovery, lambs were studied during spontaneous sleep-wake cycles to establish 1) the normal range of Qss and 2) the response rate of Qss to rapid alterations of Pcp. Subsequently, the lambs were reanesthetized, and the measurement of Qss was calibrated and validated. Qss was linearly related to the arterial inflow of 35% of the brain mass (y = 0.5 x + 1.6, r = 0.93, n = 4). Qss was greater in active sleep (154.1 +/- 45.7 ml.min-1 x 100 g-1, mean +/- SD, n = 5) than in quiet sleep (97.1 +/- 40.8 ml.min-1 x 100 g-1) and quiet wakefulness (107 +/- 44.3 ml.min-1 x 100 g-1, P < 0.05). Qss responded rapidly (within one beat) to spontaneous and to induced transient changes in Pcp. We conclude that recording blood flow in the superior sagittal sinus provides a simple, continuous, and quantitative measure of CBF from a defined area of the brain and is appropriate for studying transient changes in the cerebral circulation.

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