Noradrenergic constriction of cerebral arteries as detected by transcranial Doppler (TCD) in the rabbit

Silvestro Roatta, D. Canova, D. Bosone, G. Micieli, M. Passatore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interpretation of transcranial Doppler (TCD) recordings requires assumptions about flow or diameter of the insonated vessel. This study aimed at assessing if activation of the sympathetic system could affect blood velocity (bv) in basal cerebral arteries. In anaesthetized rabbits, stimulation of cervical sympathetic nerve (cervSN) was used selectively to activate the sympathetic pathway to the head while monitoring bv in all major cerebral arteries. cervSN stimulation at 10 Hz produced: 1. in internal carotid artery (ICA) and ICA-supplied arteries (ICA-s), a consistent bv increase ranging between 20 and 70%, 2. in the basilar artery, a transient decrease by 15-30%. These effects were mimicked, in both territories, by injection of phenylephrine into the ICA. Because cerebral blood flow is known to be reduced by cervSN stimulation, the increase in bv in ICA and ICA-s must be ascribed to constriction of the insonated vessels. These effects should be considered when monitoring bv during sympathetic activation tests or exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1397-1404
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003


  • Cerebral blood velocity
  • Cerebral circulation
  • Hypercapnia
  • Inverse steal
  • Stress
  • Sympathetic nervous system
  • Transcranial Doppler
  • Willis circle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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