Hyperventilation-induced reduction in cerebral blood flow: Assessment by positron emission tomography

E. M. Bednarczyk, W. F. Rutherford, G. P. Leisure, M. A. Munger, Edward A Panacek, F. D. Miraldi, J. A. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The use of positron emission tomography (PET) has been well documented as a relatively noninvasive method of measuring cerebral blood flow (CBF), both globally and regionally. The utility of readily detecting alterations in CBF is apparent, particularly when applied to the evaluation of therapeutic interventions thought to influence CBF. We report the effects of hypocapnia, an experimental condition of known cerebral vasoconstriction, in ten normal volunteers. Subjects had brain blood flow evaluated utilizing H2 15O as the positron emitter before and after approximately five minutes of hyperventilation. Baseline CBF was measured as a mean ± SD of 61.2 ± 16.3 mL/min/100 g of tissue. Mean baseline arterial blood gas values were PaO2 107.4 ± 14 mm Hg, PaCO2 37.7 ± 0.89 mm Hg, and pH 7.39 (calculated from mean [H+]). Post hyperventilation, global CBF was measured as 31.1 ± 10.8 mL/min/100 g. Mean arterial blood gas values were PaO2 141.7 ± 21 mm Hg, PaCO2 19.7 ± 5 mm Hg, and pH 7.63 (calculated from mean [H+]). CBF decreased by a mean of 49.5 ± 11 percent. Data analysis using the Student's t-test showed a significant change over baseline in PaCO2 (p < 0.001) and CBF (p < 0.001), in the hyperventilated state. Correlations were noted between the decrease in CBF and change in PaCO2 (r = 0.81) as well as between hyperventilation PaCO2 and the change in CBF (r = 0.97). We conclude that, as measured by PET, CBF decreases significantly during a state of artificial hyperventilation to a degree consistent with results seen using other methods. PET appears to be a valuable tool in the assessment of interventions that could influence CBF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-460
Number of pages5
JournalDICP, Annals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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