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Calvin B. Early, Richard C. Dewey, Heinz P. Pieper and William E. Hunt

✓ Pressure-flow data are presented for the brain vascular bed in the rhesus monkey. These data are obtained at fixed levels of vasomotor tone. Resultant flow curves are called the “dynamic pressure-flow relationships” (DPFR). In the experimental model, arterial pressures are oscillated with a sinusoidal pump at frequencies exceeding the vasomotor response lag time. The resultant DPFR curves are discussed. A model is presented to show that changes in vasomotor tone cause a vertical shift of the DPFR. Changes in vascular bed resistance cause a change in the slope of the DPFR (▵P/▵F).

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Experimental cerebral hemodynamics

Vasomotor tone, critical closing pressure, and vascular bed resistance

Richard C. Dewey, Heinz P. Pieper and William E. Hunt

✓ Application of Burton's concept of the critical closing pressure to experimental data on brain-blood flow in the monkey suggests that perfusion pressure, not vascular bed resistance, is the primary variable affecting cerebral blood flow. Perfusion pressure for the cerebral circulation is the mean arterial pressure minus the critical closing pressure (MAP — CCP). Vasomotor tone and intracranial pressure are the major determinants of the critical closing pressure. Changes in either of these variables, therefore, affect perfusion pressure and flow. Data on brain-blood flow at fixed vasomotor tone obtained over wide pressure ranges show little change in vascular bed resistance despite significant changes in flow. The diameter of resistance vessels probably does not change significantly throughout the normal physiological range of cerebral blood flow. The limits of the critical closing pressure in the anesthetized monkey are from 10 to 95 mm Hg. Using these limits, and beginning with the average values for MAP and CCP in 11 awake monkeys breathing room air, the authors present theoretical flow curves in response to changes in intracranial pressure and mean arterial pressure that closely approximate the data reported in man.