Year of Publication


Document Type



Graduate School


Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Abhijit Patwardhan


Altered cerebral hemodynamics contributes to mechanisms of unexplained syncope. Wecompared dynamic interaction between respiration and cerebral autoregulation in two groups ofsubjects from 28 healthy adults. Based on development of tilt-induced presyncope, subjects wereclassified as Non-Presyncopals (n=23) and Presyncopals (n=5). Airflow, CO2, Doppler cerebralblood flow velocity (CBF), ECG and blood pressure (BP) were recorded. To determine whetherinfluences of mean BP (MBP) and systolic BP (SBP) on CBF were altered in Presyncopals, thecoherencies and transfer functions between these variables and mean and peak CBF (CBFm andCBFp) were estimated. To determine influence of end-tidal CO2 (ETCO2) on CBF, relative CO2reactivity was calculated. The two primary findings were, during tilt in Presyncopals: (1) Inrespiratory frequency region, coherence between SBP and CBFp (p=0.02) and transfer functiongain between BP and CBFm was higher (MBP, p=0.01, and SBP, p=0.01) than in Non-Presyncopals. (2) In the last 3 minutes prior to presyncope, Presyncopals had a reduced relativeCO2 reactivity (p=0.005). Thus the relationship of CBF with systemic BP was more pronouncedor cerebral autoregulation was less effective preceding presyncope. This decreasedautoregulation, secondary to decreased ETCO2, may contribute in the cascade of events leadingto unexplained syncope.