European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 153, Issue 10, pp 751–755 | Cite as

Cyclic variation pattern of cerebral blood flow velocity and postconceptional age

  • E. Michel
  • B. Zernikow
  • J. Steck
  • G. Kohlmann
  • K. von Siebenthal
  • S. Hirano
  • A. Fock
  • P. Casaer
  • G. Jorch
Neonatology Original Paper


In preterm neonates, the risk for intracerebral haemorrhage is linked to immaturity of cerebral autoregulation. The preterm's 2–5/min cyclic variation pattern of cerebral blood flow velocity is thought to reflect the degree of immaturity of autoregulation — a speculation to be tested. In a cross-sectional study 15 infants (gestational age 26–40 weeks, postconceptional age (PCA) 26–42 weeks, age 1–99 days were investigated. We performed a 10 min pulsed Doppler tracing on an internal carotid artery by means of a computer controlled 5 MHz Duplex device. Systolic velocity (Vs) was recorded pulse by pulse. After appropriate data transformation, in all infants the Fast Fourier Transform of the time course of Vs revealed the presence of a 2–5/min cyclic variation pattern (one sample z-test,P<0.0001). There was no significant correlation between proportionate spectral power of the 2–5/min frequency band and either PCA (r=0.23,P=0.42) or age (r=0.41,P=0.13). Between 26 and 42 weeks PCA, the cycling phenomenon is constant thus not reflecting cerebral maturation, and its presence does not mean immaturity of cerebral autoregulation.

Key words

Autoregulation Cerebral blood flow velocity Doppler Newborn Nonlinear control theory 





birth weight


cerebral blood flow


cerebral blood flow velocity


cerebral blood flow velocity oscillation


gestational age


low frequency


postconceptional age


peri-intraventricular haemorrhage


postnatal age


periventricular leucomalacia


systolic velocity


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Michel
    • 1
  • B. Zernikow
    • 1
  • J. Steck
    • 2
  • G. Kohlmann
    • 2
  • K. von Siebenthal
    • 3
  • S. Hirano
    • 3
  • A. Fock
    • 3
  • P. Casaer
    • 3
  • G. Jorch
    • 1
  1. 1.Universitäts-KinderklinikMünsterGermany
  2. 2.Fraunhofer InstitutSt. IngbertGermany
  3. 3.KinderneurologieUniversitaire ZiekenhuisenLeuvenBelgium

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