Cerebral Autoregulation in Sick Infants: Current Insights

Elisabeth M W Kooi, Anne E Richter
Clinics in Perinatology 2020, 47 (3): 449-467
Cerebrovascular autoregulation is the ability to maintain stable cerebral blood flow within a range of cerebral perfusion pressures. When cerebral perfusion pressure is outside the limits of effective autoregulation, the brain is subjected to hypoperfusion or hyperperfusion, which may cause vascular injury, hemorrhage, and/or hypoxic white matter injury. Infants born preterm, after fetal growth restriction, with congenital heart disease, or with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy are susceptible to a failure of cerebral autoregulation. Bedside assessment of cerebrovascular autoregulation would offer the opportunity to prevent brain injury. Clinicians need to know which patient populations and circumstances are associated with impaired/absent cerebral autoregulation.

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