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Cerebral blood flow velocity variability in infants receiving assisted ventilation.
  1. J M Rennie,
  2. M South,
  3. C J Morley
  1. University Department of Paediatrics, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.


    Cerebral blood flow velocity was measured using Doppler ultrasonography in 20 babies who weighed less than 2500 g at birth and who were receiving assisted ventilation; their patterns of spontaneous respiration were recorded simultaneously. The babies were induced to breathe synchronously or asynchronously with the ventilator by manipulating the inspiratory and expiratory time settings. The variability of cerebral blood flow velocity (coefficient of variation) was calculated from the area of the maximum Doppler frequency shift envelope for 10 cardiac cycles from 211 recordings made on 42 occasions, and was greatest within 12 hours of birth after which it fell progressively over the next 48 hours. Variability of cerebral blood flow velocity was significantly greater when the infants were breathing out of synchrony with the ventilator (median 11%, interquartile range 8-14%) than when they were either apnoeic (median 5%, 3-7%), or breathing synchronously with the ventilator (median 5%, 3-6%).

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