The relationship between sepsis-induced CNS dysfunction and changes in brain blood flow remains unknown, and animal studies examining the influence of sepsis on cerebral blood flow (CBF) do not satisfactorily address that relationship. We measured CBF and cerebrovascular reactivity to CO2 in nine patients with sepsis syndrome using the 133Xe clearance technique. Mean CBF was 29.6 +/- 15.8 (SD) ml/100 g.min, significantly lower than the normal age-matched value in this laboratory of 44.9 +/- 6.2 ml/100 g.min (p less than .02). This depression did not correlate with changes in mean arterial pressure. Despite the reduction in CBF, the specific reactivity of the cerebral vasculature to changes in CO2 was normal, 1.3 +/- 0.9 ml/100 g.min/mm Hg. Brain blood flow is reduced in septic humans; the contribution of this reduction to the metabolic and functional changes observed in sepsis requires further study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine