Transfer function analysis of dynamic cerebral autoregulation: A white paper from the International Cerebral Autoregulation Research Network

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2016 Apr;36(4):665-80. doi: 10.1177/0271678X15626425. Epub 2016 Jan 18.


Cerebral autoregulation is the intrinsic ability of the brain to maintain adequate cerebral perfusion in the presence of blood pressure changes. A large number of methods to assess the quality of cerebral autoregulation have been proposed over the last 30 years. However, no single method has been universally accepted as a gold standard. Therefore, the choice of which method to employ to quantify cerebral autoregulation remains a matter of personal choice. Nevertheless, given the concept that cerebral autoregulation represents the dynamic relationship between blood pressure (stimulus or input) and cerebral blood flow (response or output), transfer function analysis became the most popular approach adopted in studies based on spontaneous fluctuations of blood pressure. Despite its sound theoretical background, the literature shows considerable variation in implementation of transfer function analysis in practice, which has limited comparisons between studies and hindered progress towards clinical application. Therefore, the purpose of the present white paper is to improve standardisation of parameters and settings adopted for application of transfer function analysis in studies of dynamic cerebral autoregulation. The development of these recommendations was initiated by (but not confined to) theCerebral Autoregulation Research Network(CARNet

Keywords: Cerebral autoregulation; cerebral blood flow; gold standard; transfer function analysis; white paper.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neurophysiology / methods*