Cerebral Autoregulation in Stroke

Pedro Castro, Elsa Azevedo, Farzaneh Sorond*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Cerebral autoregulation (CA) is a mechanism that maintains cerebral blood flow constant despite fluctuations in systemic arterial blood pressure. This review will focus on recent studies that measured CA non-invasively in acute cerebrovascular events, a feature unique to the transcranial Doppler ultrasound. We will summarize the rationale for CA assessment in acute cerebrovascular disorders and specifically evaluate the existing data on the value of CA measures in relation to clinical severity, guiding management decisions, and prognostication. Recent Findings: Existing data suggest that CA is generally impaired in various cerebrovascular disorders. In patients with small vessel ischemic stroke, CA has been shown to be impaired in both hemispheres, whereas in large territorial strokes, CA impairment has been limited to the affected hemisphere. In these latter patients, impaired CA is also predictive of secondary complications such as hemorrhagic transformation and cerebral edema, hence worse functional outcome. In patients with carotid stenosis, impaired CA may also be associated with a higher ipsilateral hemispheric stroke risk. CA is also strongly linked to outcome in patients with intracranial hemorrhage. In patients with intraparenchymal hemorrhage, CA impairment correlated with clinical and imaging severity, whereas in those with subarachnoid hemorrhage, CA measures have a predictive value for development of delayed cerebral ischemia and radiographic vasospasm. Summary: Assessment of CA is increasingly more accessible in acute cerebrovascular disorders and promises to be a valuable measure in guiding hemodynamic management and predicting secondary complication, thus enhancing the care of these patients in the acute setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number37
JournalCurrent atherosclerosis reports
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Cerebral autoregulation
  • Cerebral vasoreactivity
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Stroke
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Transcranial Doppler ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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