Anesthesia and analgesia vol:71 issue:1 pages:49-54
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of propofol on cerebral blood flow, cerebral metabolism, and cerebrovascular autoregulatory capability. Seven anesthetized baboons were given propofol at three different infusion rates. An infusion of 3 mg.kg-1.h-1 caused minimal changes, but infusion rates of 6 and 12 mg.kg-1.h-1 decreased cerebral blood flow by 28% and 39%, respectively. The changes in cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen were not statistically significant. However, with the two higher infusion rates, there was a trend toward decrease, by 5% and 22%, respectively, for the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen, and by 18% and 36% for the cerebral metabolic rate of glucose. A 25-30 mm Hg increase in arterial blood pressure had no influence on cerebral blood flow. Replacement of nitrous oxide by nitrogen had no significant influence on cerebral blood flow or metabolism. It is concluded that propofol causes a dose-dependent decrease in cerebral blood flow. However, the study does not prove that this decrease in cerebral blood flow is accompanied by the same degree of decrease in cerebral metabolism. Further studies are clearly needed to clarify propofol's influence on the coupling between cerebral metabolism and blood flow. The physiologic responsiveness of the cerebral circulation to alterations in arterial pressure is well preserved. Propofol appears to prevent the metabolic stimulation and increased cerebral blood flow that has been associated with the administration of nitrous oxide.