Time Constant of the Cerebral Arterial Bed

Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK.
Acta neurochirurgica. Supplement 01/2012; 114(114):17-21. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-7091-0956-4_4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We have defined a novel cerebral hemodynamic index, a time constant of the cerebral arterial bed (τ), the product of arterial compliance (C(a)) and cerebrovascular resistance (CVR). C(a) and CVR were calculated based on the relationship between pulsatile arterial blood pressure (ABP) and transcranial Doppler cerebral blood flow velocity. This new parameter theoretically estimates how fast the cerebral arterial bed is filled by blood volume after a sudden change in ABP during one cardiac cycle. We have explored this concept in 11 volunteers and in 25 patients with severe stenosis of the internal carotid artery (ICA). An additional group of 15 subjects with non-vascular dementia was studied to assess potential age dependency of τ. The τ was shorter (p = 0.011) in ICA stenosis, both unilateral (τ = 0.18 ± 0.04 s) and bilateral (τ = 0.16 ± 0.03 s), than in controls (τ = 0.22 ± 0.0 s). The τ correlated with the degree of stenosis (R = -0.62, p = 0.001). In controls, τ was independent of age. Further study during cerebrovascular reactivity tests is needed to establish the usefulness of τ for quantitative estimation of haemodynamics in cerebrovascular disease.

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    ABSTRACT: Cerebrovascular time constant (τ) estimates how fast cerebral blood arrives in cerebral arterial bed after each heart stroke. We investigate the pattern of changes in τ following subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), with specific emphasis on the temporal profile of changes in relation to the development of cerebral vasospasm. Simultaneous recordings of arterial blood pressure (ABP) and transcranial Doppler (TCD) blood flow velocity (CBFV) in MCA were performed daily in patients after SAH. In 22 patients (10 males and 12 females; median age: 48 years, range: 34-84 years) recordings done before spasm were compared to those done during spasm. Vasospasm was confirmed with TCD (mean CBFV in MCA > 120 cm/s and Lindegaard ratio > 3). τ was estimated as a product of compliance of cerebral arteries (C (a)) and cerebrovascular resistance (CVR). C (a) and CVR were estimated using mathematical transformations of ABP and CBFV waveforms. Vasospasm caused shortening of τ on both the spastic (before: 0.20 ± 0.05 s vs. spasm: 0.14 ± 0.04 s, P < 0.0008) and contralateral side (before: 0.22 ± 0.05 s vs. spasm: 0.16 ± 0.04 s, P < 0.0008). Before TCD signs of vasospasm were detected, τ demonstrated asymmetry with lower values on ipsilateral side to aneurysm, in comparison to contralateral side (P < 0.009), Cerebral vasospasm causes shortening of τ. Shorter τ at the side of aneurysm can be observed before formal TCD signs of vasospasm are observed, therefore, potentially reducing time to escalation of treatment.
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    ABSTRACT: The time constant of cerebral arterial bed (in brief time constant) is a product of brain arterial compliance (C(a)) and resistance (CVR). We tested the hypothesis that in normal subjects, changes in end-tidal CO(2) (EtCO(2)) affect the value of the time constant. C(a) and CVR were estimated using mathematical transformations of arterial pressure (ABP) and transcranial Doppler (TCD) cerebral blood flow velocity waveforms. Responses of the time constant to controlled changes in EtCO(2) were compared in 34 young volunteers. Hypercapnia shortened the time constant (0.22 s [0.17, 0.26] vs. 0.16 s [0.13, 0.20]; p = 0.000001), while hypocapnia lengthened the time constant (0.22 s [0.17, 0.26] vs. 0.23 s [0.19, 0.32]; p < 0.0032). The time constant was negatively correlated with changes in EtCO(2) (R(partial) = -0.68, p < 0.000001). This was associated with a decrease in CVR when EtCO(2) increased (R(partial) = -0.80, p < 0.000001) and C(a) remained independent of changes in EtCO(2). C(a) was negatively correlated with mean ABP (R(partial) = -0.68, p < 0.000001). In summary, the time constant shortens with increasing EtCO(2). Its potential role in cerebrovascular investigations needs further studies.
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