Regional redistribution of blood flow in the external and internal carotid arteries during acute hypotension

Shigehiko Ogoh, Romain Lericollais, Ai Hirasawa, Sadayoshi Sakai, Hervé Normand, Damian M Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study examined to what extent an acute bout of hypotension influences blood flow in the external carotid artery (ECA) and the corresponding implications for blood flow regulation in the internal carotid artery (ICA). Nine healthy male participants were subjected to an abrupt decrease in arterial pressure via the thigh-cuff inflation-deflation technique. Duplex ultrasound was employed to measure beat-to-beat ECA and ICA blood flow. Compared with the baseline normotensive control, acute hypotension resulted in a heterogeneous blood flow response. ICA blood flow initially decreased following cuff release and then returned quickly to baseline levels. In contrast, the reduction in ECA blood flow persisted for 30 s following cuff release. Thus, the contribution of common carotid artery blood flow to the ECA circulation decreased during acute hypotension (-10 ± 4%, P < 0.001). This finding suggests that a preserved reduction in ECA blood flow, as well as dynamic cerebral autoregulation likely prevent a further decrease in intracranial blood flow during acute hypotension. The peripheral vasculature of the ECA may, thus, be considered an important vascular bed for intracranial cerebral blood flow regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R747-51
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Acute Disease
  • Carotid Artery, External
  • Carotid Artery, Internal
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Hypotension
  • Male
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Thigh
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Transcranial
  • Young Adult
  • Comparative Study


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