Wavelet Autoregulation Monitoring Identifies Blood Pressures Associated With Brain Injury in Neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy

Xiuyun Liu, Aylin Tekes, Jamie Perin, May W. Chen, Bruno P. Soares, An N. Massaro, Rathinaswamy B. Govindan, Charlamaine Parkinson, Raul Chavez-Valdez, Frances J. Northington, Ken M. Brady, Jennifer K. Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Dysfunctional cerebrovascular autoregulation may contribute to neurologic injury in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Identifying the optimal mean arterial blood pressure (MAPopt) that best supports autoregulation could help identify hemodynamic goals that support neurologic recovery. In neonates who received therapeutic hypothermia for HIE, we hypothesized that the wavelet hemoglobin volume index (wHVx) would identify MAPopt and that blood pressures closer to MAPopt would be associated with less brain injury on MRI. We also tested a correlation-derived hemoglobin volume index (HVx) and single- and multi-window data processing methodology. Autoregulation was monitored in consecutive 3-h periods using near infrared spectroscopy in an observational study. The neonates had a mean MAP of 54 mmHg (standard deviation: 9) during hypothermia. Greater blood pressure above the MAPopt from single-window wHVx was associated with less injury in the paracentral gyri (p = 0.044; n = 63), basal ganglia (p = 0.015), thalamus (p = 0.013), and brainstem (p = 0.041) after adjustments for sex, vasopressor use, seizures, arterial carbon dioxide level, and a perinatal insult score. Blood pressure exceeding MAPopt from the multi-window, correlation HVx was associated with less injury in the brainstem (p = 0.021) but not in other brain regions. We conclude that applying wavelet methodology to short autoregulation monitoring periods may improve the identification of MAPopt values that are associated with brain injury. Having blood pressure above MAPopt with an upper MAP of ~50–60 mmHg may reduce the risk of brain injury during therapeutic hypothermia. Though a cause-and-effect relationship cannot be inferred, the data support the need for randomized studies of autoregulation and brain injury in neonates with HIE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number662839
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
StatePublished - Apr 28 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • brain
  • cerebral autoregulation
  • cerebrovascular circulation
  • hypothermia
  • hypoxia
  • newborn

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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