Association between cardiovagal baroreflex sensitivity and baseline cerebral perfusion of the hippocampus

Jitanan Laosiripisan, Takashi Tarumi, Mitzi M. Gonzales, Andreana P. Haley, Hirofumi Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: A failure to control perfusion pressure due to impaired baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) could potentially cause chronic brain hypoperfusion, leading to cognitive dysfunction. The primary aim of this study was to determine whether BRS was associated with regional cerebral blood flow as measured by MRI arterial spin labeling (ASL) technique. Methods: Baroreflex sensitivity was measured using the Valsalva maneuver technique in 52 middle-aged normotensive adults (49 ± 1 years), and phase IV of the Valsalva maneuver was used for analyses. Cerebral perfusion was measured using the ASL MRI technique in 10 pre-determined brain regions of interest. Results: Hippocampal perfusion was correlated with BRS (R2 = 0.17, P = 0.01). No association was observed between BRS and cerebral perfusion in the other brain regions of interest. Partial correlational analyses revealed that BRS was an important predictor of hippocampal perfusion, explaining 11 % of the variability independent of other covariates. When participants were divided into tertiles of BRS (11.8 ± 1.9 and 3.5 ± 0.1 ms/mmHg for the highest and lowest tertiles), regional cerebral perfusion of the hippocampus was significantly lower in the lowest BRS tertile than in the highest tertile (39.1 ± 4.3 and 60.5 ± 8.4 ml/100 g/min). Conclusions: Baroreflex sensitivity in midlife is positively associated with regional cerebral perfusion of the hippocampus, and impaired BRS appears to be related to brain hypoperfusion even in apparently healthy middle-aged adults. Future longitudinal studies based on the present cross-sectional findings may help to further define the relationship between BRS to cognitive dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-218
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Autonomic Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 22 2015


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Arterial spin labeling
  • Autonomic dysfunction
  • MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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