The postural reduction in middle cerebral artery blood velocity is not explained by PaCO2

R. V. Immink, N. H. Secher, C. M. Roos, F. Pott, P. L. Madsen, J. J. van Lieshout

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In the normocapnic range, middle cerebral artery mean velocity (MCA Vmean) changes approximately 3.5% per mmHg carbon-dioxide tension in arterial blood (PaCO2) and a decrease in PaCO2 will reduce the cerebral blood flow by vasoconstriction (the CO2 reactivity of the brain). When standing up MCA Vmean and the end-tidal carbon-dioxide tension (PETCO2) decrease, suggesting that PaCO2 contributes to the reduction in MCA Vmean. In a fixed body position, PETCO2 tracks changes in the PaCO2 but when assuming the upright position, cardiac output (Q) decreases and its distribution over the lung changes, while ventilation (VE) increases suggesting that PETCO2 decreases more than PaCO2. This study evaluated whether the postural reduction in PaCO2 accounts for the postural decline in MCA Vmean). From the supine to the upright position, VE, Q, PETCO2, PaCO2, MCA Vmean, and the near-infrared spectrophotometry determined cerebral tissue oxygenation (CO2Hb) were followed in seven subjects. When standing up, MCA Vmean (from 65.3+/-3.8 to 54.6+/-3.3 cm s(-1) ; mean +/- SEM; P <0.05) and cO2Hb (-7.2+/-2.2 micromol l(-1) ; P <0.05) decreased. At the same time, the VE/Q ratio increased 49+/-14% (P <0.05) with the postural reduction in PETCO2 overestimating the decline in PaCO2 (-4.8+/-0.9 mmHg vs. -3.0+/-1.1 mmHg; P <0.05). When assuming the upright position, the postural decrease in MCA Vmean seems to be explained by the reduction in PETCO2 but the small decrease in PaCO2 makes it unlikely that the postural decrease in MCA Vmean can be accounted for by the cerebral CO2 reactivity alone
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-614
JournalEuropean journal of applied physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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