Cerebral blood flow and evoked potentials during Cushing response in sheep

R. C. Koehler, J. E. Backofen, R. W. McPherson, M. D. Jones, M. C. Rogers, R. J. Traystman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We determined how alterations in systemic hemodynamics, characteristic of the Cushing response, are related to changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF), cerebral metabolic rate of O2 (CMRO2), and brain electrical conductive function, as assessed by somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEP) and brain stem auditory-evoked responses (BAER). In three groups of eight pentobarbital-anesthetized sheep, intracranial pressure was gradually elevated to within 50, 25, or 0 mmHg of base-line mean arterial pressure and then held constant for 40 min by intraventricular infusion of mock cerebrospinal fluid. Microsphere-determined CBF fell when cerebral perfusion pressure was <50 mmHg. CMRO2 fell when CBF fell >30-40%. Mean aortic pressure and cardiac output increased when CBF fell >40%, i.e., at approximately the level at which CMRO2 fell. Furthermore, the magnitude of the increase in arterial pressure and cardiac output correlated with the reduction of CMRO2. SEP latency did not increase unless CBF fell >55-65%, corresponding to a 20-30% reduction of CMRO2. Increased latency of BAER wave V was associated with a fall in midbrain blood flow of >65-70%. Thus increase in SEP and BAER latencies required reductions of flow greater than those required to elicit a systemic response. This demonstrates that there is a range of intracranial pressure over which the increase in arterial pressure preserves sufficient CBF to sustain minimal electrical conductive function. The best predictor of the onset and magnitude of the Cushing response in adult sheep is the decrease in CMRO2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25/3
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Cerebral blood flow and evoked potentials during Cushing response in sheep'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this