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Brain Sci. 2013, 3(2), 781-789; doi:10.3390/brainsci3020781

Neurovascular Coupling of the Posterior Cerebral Artery in Spinal Cord Injury: A Pilot Study

1
Cardiovascular Physiology and Rehabilitation Laboratory, Physical Activity Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Unit, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6T 1Z1, Canada
2
Experimental Medicine Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6T 1Z1, Canada
3
International Collaboration of Repair Discoveries, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6T 1Z1, Canada
4
Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6T 1Z1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 February 2013 / Revised: 26 April 2013 / Accepted: 29 April 2013 / Published: 8 May 2013
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Abstract

Purpose: To compare neurovascular coupling in the posterior cerebral artery (PCA) between those with spinal cord injury (SCI) and able bodied (AB) individuals. Methods: A total of seven SCI and seven AB were matched for age and sex. Measures included PCA velocity (PCAv), beat-by-beat blood pressure and end-tidal carbon dioxide. Posterior cerebral cortex activation was achieved by 10 cycles of (1) 30 s eyes closed (pre-stimulation), (2) 30 s reading (stimulation). Results: Blood pressure was significantly reduced in those with SCI (SBP: 100 ± 13 mmHg; DBP: 58 ± 13 mmHg) vs. AB (SBP: 121 ± 12 mmHg; DBP: 74 ± 9 mmHg) during both pre-stimulation and stimulation, but the relative increase was similar during the stimulation period. Changes in PCAv during stimulation were mitigated in the SCI group (6% ± 6%) vs. AB (29% ± 12%, P < 0.001). Heart rate and end-tidal carbon dioxide responded similarly between groups. Conclusions: Clearly, NVC is impaired in those with SCI. This study may provide a link between poor perfusion of the posterior cerebral region (containing the medullary autonomic centres) and autonomic dysfunction after SCI.
Keywords: spinal cord injury; neurovascular coupling; posterior cerebral artery spinal cord injury; neurovascular coupling; posterior cerebral artery
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Phillips, A.A.; Krassioukov, A.V.; Zheng, M.M.Z.; Warburton, D.E.R. Neurovascular Coupling of the Posterior Cerebral Artery in Spinal Cord Injury: A Pilot Study. Brain Sci. 2013, 3, 781-789.

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