Analysis of cerebral autoregulation by measuring spontaneous oscillations in the low frequency spectrum of cerebral cortical vessels might be a useful tool for assessing risk and investigating different treatment strategies in carotid artery disease and stroke. Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a non-invasive optical method to investigate regional changes in oxygenated (oxyHb) and deoxygenated hemoglobin (deoxyHb) in the outermost layers of the cerebral cortex. In the present study we examined oxyHb low frequency oscillations, believed to reflect cortical cerebral autoregulation, in 16 patients with both symptomatic carotid occlusive disease and cerebral hypoperfusion in comparison to healthy controls. Each hemisphere was examined with two NIRS channels using a 3 cm source detector distance. Arterial blood pressure (ABP) was measured via a finger plethysmograph. Using transfer function analysis ABP-oxyHb phase shift and gain as well as inter-hemispheric phase shift and amplitude ratio were assessed. We found that inter-hemispheric amplitude ratio was significantly altered in hypoperfusion patients compared to healthy controls (P = 0.010), because of relatively lower amplitude on the hypoperfusion side. The inter-hemispheric phase shift showed a trend (P = 0.061) toward increased phase shift in hypoperfusion patients compared to controls. We found no statistical difference between hemispheres in hypoperfusion patients for phase shift or gain values. There were no differences between the hypoperfusion side and controls for phase shift or gain values. These preliminary results suggest an impairment of autoregulation in hypoperfusion patients at the cortical level detected by NIRS.
Frontiers in Neurology, 2013, Vol 4, Issue Dec, p. 1-6