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Hepatology. 1995 Sep;22(3):730-6.

Cerebral blood flow autoregulation and transcranial Doppler sonography in patients with cirrhosis.

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Department of Hepatology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


Impairment of cerebral blood flow (CBF) autoregulation may have serious implications for patients with cirrhosis if arterial hypotension occurs during coma, anesthesia, bleeding, or sepsis. In this study, CBF autoregulation was investigated in patients with cirrhosis with no or mild encephalopathy. Ten patients (median age, 45 years; range, 30 to 61 years) and six healthy volunteers (median age, 30 years; range 21 to 61 years) were included. Catheters were placed in a radial artery and in the internal jugular veins. Baseline CBF was measured using single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with concomitant measurements of cerebral arteriovenous oxygen content differences (AVDO2). CBF autoregulation was evaluated using the AVDO2 method and changes in mean flow velocity in the middle cerebral artery (Vmean) as determined by transcranial Doppler (TCD). Mean arterial pressure (MAP) was increased by 30 mm Hg by intravenous norepinephrine, and subsequently decreased by a combination of lower body negative pressure and ganglion blockade, whereas AVDO2 and Vmean were measured at each 5 mm Hg change in MAP. CBF was 61 (range, 45 to 78) mL 100 g-1 min-1 in patients with cirrhosis and 65 (range < 53 to 88) mL 100 g-1 min-1 in volunteers (not significant [NS]). There were no regional differences in CBF between the two groups. Arterial carbon dioxide tension was 31 (23 to 35) mm Hg in patients with cirrhosis and lower, compared with 36 (range, 34 to 47) mm Hg in the volunteers (P < .01). For evaluation of autoregulation, MAP was raised to 116 (range, 100 to 145) and then decreased to 39 (range, 34 to 50) mm Hg.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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