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Neurophotonics • Open Access

Cerebral blood flow and autoregulation: current measurement techniques and prospects for noninvasive optical methods
Author(s): Sergio Fantini; Angelo Sassaroli; Kristen T. Tgavalekos; Joshua Kornbluth

Paper Abstract

Cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral autoregulation (CA) are critically important to maintain proper brain perfusion and supply the brain with the necessary oxygen and energy substrates. Adequate brain perfusion is required to support normal brain function, to achieve successful aging, and to navigate acute and chronic medical conditions. We review the general principles of CBF measurements and the current techniques to measure CBF based on direct intravascular measurements, nuclear medicine, X-ray imaging, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound techniques, thermal diffusion, and optical methods. We also review techniques for arterial blood pressure measurements as well as theoretical and experimental methods for the assessment of CA, including recent approaches based on optical techniques. The assessment of cerebral perfusion in the clinical practice is also presented. The comprehensive description of principles, methods, and clinical requirements of CBF and CA measurements highlights the potentially important role that noninvasive optical methods can play in the assessment of neurovascular health. In fact, optical techniques have the ability to provide a noninvasive, quantitative, and continuous monitor of CBF and autoregulation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 June 2016
PDF: 31 pages
Neurophoton. 3(3) 031411 doi: 10.1117/1.NPh.3.3.031411
Published in: Neurophotonics Volume 3, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
Sergio Fantini, Tufts Univ. (United States)
Angelo Sassaroli, Tufts Univ. (United States)
Kristen T. Tgavalekos, Tufts Univ. (United States)
Joshua Kornbluth, Tufts Univ. School of Medicine (United States)

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