Transcranial color-coded duplex sonography assessment of cerebrovascular reactivity to carbon dioxide: an interventional study

BMC Neurol. 2021 Aug 7;21(1):305. doi: 10.1186/s12883-021-02310-9.


Background: The investigation of CO2 reactivity (CO2-CVR) is used in the setting of, e.g., traumatic brain injury (TBI). Transcranial color-coded duplex sonography (TCCD) is a promising bedside tool for monitoring cerebral hemodynamics. This study used TCCD to investigate CO2-CVR in volunteers, in sedated and mechanically ventilated patients without TBI and in sedated and mechanically ventilated patients in the acute phase after TBI.

Methods: This interventional investigation was performed between March 2013 and February 2016 at the surgical ICU of the University Hospital of Zurich. Ten volunteers (group 1), ten sedated and mechanically ventilated patients (group 2), and ten patients in the acute phase (12-36 h) after severe TBI (group 3) were included. CO2-CVR to moderate hyperventilation (∆ CO2 -5.5 mmHg) was assessed by TCCD.

Results: CO2-CVR was 2.14 (1.20-2.70) %/mmHg in group 1, 2.03 (0.15-3.98) %/mmHg in group 2, and 3.32 (1.18-4.48)%/mmHg in group 3, without significant differences among groups.

Conclusion: Our data did not yield evidence for altered CO2-CVR in the early phase after TBI examined by TCCD.

Trial registration: Part of this trial was performed as preparation for the interventional trial in TBI patients ( NCT03822026 , 30.01.2019, retrospectively registered).

Keywords: CO2 reactivity; Cerebral blood flow measurements; Intensive care ultrasound; Transcranial color-coded duplex sonography; Traumatic brain injury.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic* / diagnostic imaging
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Transcranial
  • Young Adult


  • Carbon Dioxide

Associated data