Dynamic cerebral autoregulation is preserved during orthostasis and intrathoracic pressure regulation in healthy subjects: A pilot study

Physiol Rep. 2024 May;12(9):e16027. doi: 10.14814/phy2.16027.


Resistance breathing may restore cardiac output (CO) and cerebral blood flow (CBF) during hypovolemia. We assessed CBF and cerebral autoregulation (CA) during tilt, resistance breathing, and paced breathing in 10 healthy subjects. Blood velocities in the internal carotid artery (ICA), middle cerebral arteries (MCA, four subjects), and aorta were measured by Doppler ultrasound in 30° and 60° semi-recumbent positions. ICA blood flow and CO were calculated. Arterial blood pressure (ABP, Finometer), and end-tidal CO2 (ETCO2) were recorded. ICA blood flow response was assessed by mixed-models regression analysis. The synchronization index (SI) for the variable pairs ABP-ICA blood velocity, ABP-MCA velocities in 0.005-0.08 Hz frequency interval was calculated as a measure of CA. Passive tilting from 30° to 60° resulted in 12% decrease in CO (p = 0.001); ICA blood flow tended to fall (p = 0.04); Resistance breathing restored CO and ICA blood flow despite a 10% ETCO2 drop. ETCO2 and CO contributed to ICA blood flow variance (adjusted R2: 0.9, p < 0.0001). The median SI was low (<0.2) indicating intact CA, confirmed by surrogate date testing. The peak SI was transiently elevated during resistance breathing in the 60° position. Resistance breathing may transiently reduce CA efficiency. Paced breathing did not restore CO or ICA blood flow.

Keywords: cerebral autoregulation; hemodynamics; impedance threshold device; passive tilting; resistance breathing; synchronization index.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Cardiac Output / physiology
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery, Internal / physiology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation* / physiology
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Homeostasis* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / physiology
  • Pilot Projects