Controlled hypercapnia and neonatal cerebral artery Doppler ultrasound waveforms

Pediatr Res. 1986 Mar;20(3):218-21. doi: 10.1203/00006450-198603000-00004.


Eleven normal term infants undergoing respiratory assessment involving rebreathing to produce progressive hypercapnia were studied by Doppler ultrasound examination of an anterior cerebral artery during the procedure. A linear increase in end tidal carbon dioxide concentration from 4.5% to a maximum of 8.5% was documented during a period of 4-5 min rebreathing. A corresponding elevation of transcutaneous carbon dioxide tension was shown in the two infants monitored in this way. In all cases the Pourcelot index fell with rising end tidal carbon dioxide concentration. This fall in Pourcelot index was due to an increase in the diastolic frequency of the Doppler waveform. These results are consistent with the view that Pourcelot index correlates with cerebral vascular resistance distal to the site of recording.

MeSH terms

  • Carbon Dioxide / analysis
  • Cerebral Arteries*
  • Humans
  • Hypercapnia / physiopathology*
  • Infant, Newborn*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Ultrasonics*


  • Carbon Dioxide