Autoregulation assessment by direct visualisation of pial arterial blood flow in the piglet brain

S. P. Klein, V. De Sloovere, G. Meyfroidt, B. Depreitere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Impairment of cerebrovascular autoregulation (CAR) is common after brain injury, although the pathophysiology remains elusive. The mechanisms of vascular dysregulation, their impact on brain function, and potential therapeutic implications are still incompletely understood. Clinical assessment of CAR remains challenging. Observational studies suggest that CAR impairment is associated with worse outcomes, and that optimization of cerebral blood flow (CBF) by individual arterial blood pressure (ABP) targets could potentially improve outcome. We present a porcine closed cranial window model that measures the hemodynamic response of pial arterioles, the main site of CBF control, based on changes in their diameter and red blood cell velocity. This quantitative direct CAR assessment is compared to laser Doppler flow (LDF). CAR breakpoints are determined by segmented regression analysis and validated using LDF and brain tissue oxygen pressure. Using a standardized cortical impact, CAR impairment in traumatic brain injury can be studied using our method of combining pial arteriolar diameter and RBC velocity to quantify RBC flux in a large animal model. The model has numerous potential applications to investigate CAR physiology and pathophysiology of CAR impairment after brain injury, the impact of therapeutic interventions, drugs, and other confounders, or to develop personalized ABP management strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13333
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

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