Hypercapnia and response of cerebral blood flow to hypoxia in newborn lambs

J. Massik, M. D. Jones, M. Miyabe, Y. L. Tang, M. L. Hudak, R. C. Koehler, R. J. Traystman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Individual effects of hypoxic hypoxia and hypercapnia on the cerebral circulation are well described, but data on their combined effects are conflicting. We measured the effect of hypoxic hypoxia on cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral O2 consumption during normocapnia (arterial PCO2 = 33 ± 2 Torr) and during hypercapnia (60 ± 2 Torr) in seven pentobarbital-anesthetized lambs. Analysis of variance showed that neither the magnitude of the hypoxic CBF response nor cerebral O2 consumption was significantly related to the level of arterial PCO2. To determine whether hypoxic cerebral vasodilation during hypercapnia was restricted by reflex sympathetic stimulation we studied an additional six hypercapnic anesthetized lambs before and after bilateral removal of the superior cervical ganglion. Sympathetectomy had no effect on base-line CBF during hypercapnia or on the CBF response to hypoxic hypoxia. We conclude that the effects of hypoxic hypoxia on CBF and cerebral O2 consumption are not significantly altered by moderate hypercapnia in the anesthetized lamb. Furthermore, we found no evidence that hypercapnia results in a reflex increase in sympathetic tone that interferes with the ability of cerebral vessels to dilate during hypoxic hypoxia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1065-1070
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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