Cerebral Blood Flow Measurements in the Neonatal Brain

  • Flora WongEmail author
Part of the Neuromethods book series (NM, volume 109)


Cerebrovascular lesions and hypoxic-ischaemic brain injury are important causes of acquired neonatal brain injury in term and preterm newborn infants, which lead to significant morbidity and long-term mortality. Improved understanding of the cerebral hemodynamics and metabolism in the immature brain, and blood flow responses to physiological and external stimuli would aid understanding of the pathogenesis of neonatal brain injury. There has been increasing research interest and clinical demand to study the neonatal brain, with the exploration of the bedside and real-time measurement of cerebral hemodynamics in guiding therapy and predicting outcome. The major techniques which allow the assessment of cerebral blood flow (CBF) with relative ease at the bedside in the neonatal intensive care unit include near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), and transcranial Doppler ultrasonography. Diffuse optical correlation spectroscopy (DCS) is a new technique for which portable devices are currently being developed to continuously monitor relative changes in microvascular CBF at the bedside. DCS can potentially be combined with NIRS to provide continuous simultaneous measurement of changes in CBF and oxygenation, and enables the quantification of cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen. Functional studies have also been utilized with NIRS and magnetic resonance imaging to elucidate the connections between localized cortical activity and cerebral hemodynamic responses during early human development. To utilize and translate cerebral hemodynamic measurements in clinical management, future research should aim to establish clinically relevant parameters and references range for cerebral perfusion and oxygenation for the neonatal population.

Key words

Neonate Cerebral blood flow Cerebral oxygenation Near-infrared spectroscopy Neonatal brain injury Diffusion correlation spectroscopy 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Ritchie Centre, Monash Institute of Medical ResearchPrince Henry’s Institute, MelbourneClaytonAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Monash NewbornMonash Medical CentreMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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