ICP versus Laser Doppler Cerebrovascular Reactivity Indices to Assess Brain Autoregulatory Capacity

12 Feb 2018

Objective: To explore the relationship between various autoregulatory indices in order to determine which approximate small-vessel/microvascular autoregulatory capacity most accurately. Methods: Utilizing a retrospective cohort of traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients (N=41) with: transcranial Doppler (TCD), intracranial pressure (ICP) and cortical laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF), we calculated various continuous indices of autoregulation and cerebrovascular responsiveness: A. ICP derived (pressure reactivity index (PRx) – correlation between ICP and mean arterial pressure (MAP), PAx – correlation between pulse amplitude of ICP (AMP) and MAP, RAC – correlation between AMP and cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP)), B. TCD derived (Mx – correlation between mean flow velocity (FVm) and CPP, Mx_a – correlation betrween FVm and MAP, Sx – correlation between systolic flow velocity (FVs) and CPP, Sx_a – correlation between FVs and MAP, Dx – correlation between diastolic flow index (FVd) and CPP, Dx_a – correlation between FVd and MAP), and LDF derived (Lx – correlation between LDF cerebral blood flow (CBF) and CPP, Lx_a – correlation between LDF-CBF and MAP). We assessed the relationship between these indices via Pearson correlation, Friedman test, principal component analysis (PCA), agglomerative hierarchal clustering (AHC) and k-means cluster analysis (KMCA). Results: LDF based autoregulatory index (Lx) was most associated with TCD based Mx/Mx_a and Dx/Dx_a across Pearson correlation, PCA, AHC and KMCA. Lx was only remotely associated with ICP based indices (PRx, PAx, RAC). TCD based Sx/Sx_a were more closely associated with ICP derived PRx, PAx and RAC. This indicates that vascular derived indices of autoregulatory capacity (ie. TCD and LDF based) co-vary, with Sx/Sx_a being the exception. Whereas, indices of cerebrovascular reactivity derived from pulsatile CBV (ie. ICP indices) appear to not be closely related to those of vascular origin. Conclusions: Transcranial Doppler Mx is the most closely associated with LDF based Lx/Lx_a. Both Sx/Sx-a and the ICP derived indices appear to be dissociated with LDF based cerebrovascular reactivity, leaving Mx/Mx-a as a better surrogate for the assessment of cortical small vessel/microvascular cerebrovascular reactivity. Sx/Sx_a co-cluster/co-vary with ICP derived indices, as seen in our previous work.