The role of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system in cerebral blood flow autoregulation

M. J. Hernández-Pérez, M. E. Raichle, H. L. Stone

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26 Scopus citations


The effect of chronic, unilateral superior cervical ganglionectomy on cerebral blood flow and blood flow autoregulation to changes in perfusion pressure was examined in seven phencyclidine anesthetized monkeys. Ten to 14 days prior to the experiments Doppler ultrasonic flow transducers were placed on both carotid arteries after ligation of the external carotid branches and removal of one superior cervical ganglion. Autoregulation was tested by exsanguination and metaraminol infusion with the monkeys inspiring room air, 9% and 12% carbon dioxide in air. Immediately following experimentation the cerebral vessels were examined for the presence of noradrenergic fibers. The results of the study demonstrate that: (I) superior cervical ganglionectomy produces a significant reduction in the noradrenergic innervation of ipsilatera! extraparenchymal arteries; (2) the peripheral sympathetic nervous system contributes to overall cerebral vascular resistance primarily by affecting resistance in extraparenchymal arteries; and (3) as a result, it determines the contribution of the extraparenchymal arteries to overall cerebral blood flow autoregulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-292
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1975


  • Arterial carbon dioxide
  • Doppler flow transducers cerebral vascular innervation
  • Superior cervical ganglion


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