Pressure autoregulation is an important hemodynamic mechanism that protects the brain against inappropriate fluctuations in cerebral blood flow in the face of changing cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP). Static autoregulation represents how far cerebrovascular resistance changes when CPP varies, and dynamic autoregulation represents how fast these changes happen. Both have been monitored in the setting of neurocritical care to aid prognostication and contribute to individualizing CPP targets in patients. Failure of autoregulation is associated with a worse outcome in various acute neurological diseases. Several studies have used transcranial Doppler ultrasound, intracranial pressure (ICP with vascular reactivity as surrogate measure of autoregulation), and near-infrared spectroscopy to continuously monitor the impact of spontaneous fluctuations in CPP on cerebrovascular physiology and to calculate derived variables of autoregulatory efficiency. Many patients who undergo such monitoring demonstrate a range of CPP in which autoregulatory efficiency is optimal. Management of patients at or near this optimal level of CPP is associated with better outcomes in traumatic brain injury. Many of these studies have utilized the concept of the pressure reactivity index, a correlation coefficient between ICP and mean arterial pressure. While further studies are needed, these data suggest that monitoring of autoregulation could aid prognostication and may help identify optimal CPP levels in individual patients.
- Cerebral blood flow
- Cerebral perfusion pressure
- Near-infrared spectroscopy
- Pressure reactivity
- Transcranial doppler ultrasound