Arterial Blood Pressure and Cerebral Blood Flow

Even though CBF can be maintained within the normal range over a large range of arterial blood pressure values, severe decreases in blood pressure cannot be compensated for and eventually lead to low perfusion pressure, aggravating cerebral ischemic changes. Furthermore, novel phar-macologic agents might themselves induce hypotension, which would be undetected if blood pressures were not monitored. Technology for monitoring CBF is not available everywhere; however, CBF measurements are relevant in most brain ischemia experiments for demonstrating adequate reduction of CBF during ischemia, for recovery of CBF following reperfusion, and to rule out potential effects of novel compounds on CBF. A number of techniques are used, including laser-Doppler flowmetry, positron emission tomography, computed tomography perfusion imaging, and MRI. These methods are noninvasive or minimally invasive and usually easy to perform. Among them, laser-Doppler flowmetry is a relatively inexpensive, minimally invasive, and easy-to-perform technique that delivers relative cortical CBF values and can easily be incorporated in most benchtop experiments. Arterial blood pressure and CBF vary among species, strains, and even within the same strain procured from different vendors, and they are dependent on the measurement technique used. Therefore, these parameters should be evaluated within each experiment, with comparison to a separate control group of animals.

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