Background and Purpose - To determine whether the hemodynamic response to functional stimulation is sensitive to proximal arterial occlusion, we measured the activation flow coupling response in a rat model of acute reversible vascular occlusion. Methods - In α-chloralose-anesthetized rats (n=18), laser Doppler measurements were made through a thinned skull over the somatosensory cortex in response to electrical forepaw stimulation. Signal- averaged responses to 4 and 8 seconds of electrical forepaw stimulation were obtained before, during, and shortly after acute unilateral or bilateral carotid occlusion produced with the use of a surgically placed snare. Results - Baseline cerebral blood flow was significantly decreased over the forepaw region of the somatosensory cortex after both occlusion of the carotid contralateral to the stimulated forepaw and bilateral occlusion compared with preocclusion (P<0.05). Postocclusion and ipsilateral occlusion led to a nonsignificant increase in baseline cerebral blood flow compared with preocclusion. Contralateral carotid occlusion and bilateral occlusion significantly prolonged the temporal characteristics of the flow response, especially the delay to peak (P<0.05), compared with preocclusion, whereas ipsilateral carotid occlusion significantly shortened the delay to peak (P<0.05). Only contralateral carotid occlusion produced a significant reduction in the peak amplitude of the flow response compared with preocclusion (P<0.05). Conclusions - These findings suggest that temporal characteristics of functional activation responses are sensitive to alterations in the proximal arterial supply and, conversely, that functional activation studies must be interpreted with consideration of proximal arterial disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-960
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2000


  • Carotid artery occlusion
  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Cerebrovascular circulation
  • Rats


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