Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Guoqiang Yu


Many cerebral diseases are associated with abnormal cerebral hemodynamics and impaired cerebral autoregulation (CA). CA is a mechanism to maintain cerebral blood flow (CBF) stable when mean arterial pressure (MAP) fluctuates. Evaluating these abnormalities requires direct measurements of cerebral hemodynamics and MAP. Several near-infrared diffuse optical instruments have been developed in our laboratory for hemodynamic measurements including near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS), hybrid NIRS/DCS, and dual-wavelength DCS flow-oximeter. We utilized these noninvasive technologies to quantify CBF and cerebral oxygenation in different populations under different physiological conditions/manipulations. A commercial finger plethysmograph was used to continuously monitor MAP. For investigating the impact of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) on cerebral hemodynamics and CA, a portable DCS device was used to monitor relative changes of CBF (rCBF) during bilateral thigh cuff occlusion. Compared to healthy controls, smaller reductions in rCBF and MAP following cuff deflation were observed in patients with OSA, which might result from the impaired vasodilation. However, dynamic CAs quantified in time-domain (defined by rCBF drop/MAP drop) were not significantly different between the two groups. We also evaluated dynamic CA in frequency-domain, i.e., to quantify the phase shifts of low frequency oscillations (LFOs) at 0.1 Hz between cerebral hemodynamics and MAP under 3 different physiological conditions (i.e., supine resting, head-up tilt (HUT), paced breathing). To capture dynamic LFOs, a hybrid NIRS/DCS device was upgraded to achieve faster sampling rate and better signal-to-noise. We determined the best hemodynamic parameters (i.e., CBF, oxygenated and total hemoglobin concentrations) among the measured variables and optimal physiological condition (HUT) for detecting LFOs in healthy subjects. Finally, a novel dual-wavelength DCS flow-oximeter was developed to monitor cerebral hemodynamics during HUT-induced vasovagal presyncope (VVS) in healthy subjects. rCBF was found to have the best sensitivity for the assessment of VVS among the measured variables and was likely the final trigger of VVS. A threshold of ~50% rCBF decline was observed which can completely separate subjects with or without presyncope, suggesting its potential role for predicting VVS. With further development and applications, NIRS/DCS techniques are expected to have significant impacts on the evaluation of cerebral hemodynamics and autoregulation.