Continuous wave Doppler ultrasonography through the anterior fontanel has recently been used to assess changes in cerebral blood flow in human neonates. There has been controversy concerning whether measurements of Doppler blood flow velocity indeed correlate with brain blood flow. An in vivo correlation was performed between brain blood flow as measured by the microsphere method and Doppler flow velocity measurements of the cerebral arteries via an artificial fontanel in young piglets. The peak systolic velocity (r = .76, P < .001), end diastolic velocity (r = .72, P < .001) and area under the velocity curve (r = .86, P<.001) all showed significant positive correlations with brain blood flow. The pulsatility index did not correlate with brain blood flow. Although continuous wave Doppler flow velocity measurements of the anterior cerebral artery cannot quantitatively assess cerebral blood flow, this methodology can be used to correlate changes in cerebral blood flow and provide a meaningful trend analysis following physiologic or pharmacologic perturbation of the cerebral circulation.

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