Older age and male sex are associated with higher cerebrovascular impedance

Jun Sugawara, Takashi Tarumi Ph.D., Changyang Xing, Jie Liu, Tsubasa Tomoto, Evan P. Pasha, Rong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Cerebral blood flow (CBF) becomes pulsatile in response to the pulsatile change in perfusion pressure that is regulated by cerebrovascular impedance. In this study, we aimed to characterize age-related differences in cerebrovascular impedance across the adult lifespan. Carotid artery pressure [(CAP), via applanation tonometry] and CBF velocity (CBFV) in the middle cerebral artery (via transcranial Doppler) were measured in 148 healthy adults (21-79 yr, 62% women). Cerebrovascular impedance was quantified using transfer function analysis. Coherence between changes in CBFV and CAP was >0.90 in the frequency range of 0.78-2.73 Hz, suggesting a linear dynamic relationship between these two variables. Impedance modulus at the first harmonics (0.78-1.56 Hz) of CBFV and CAP oscillations (Z1), reflecting mainly heart rate frequency, was 20% higher in the old (>64 yr, P = 0.002) and 13% higher in the middle-aged (45-64 yr, P = 0.08) than in young individuals (<45 yr). In addition, Z1 was 24% higher in men than in women (P < 0.001). Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that Z1 is negatively associated with systolic (b = -0.470), diastolic (b = -0.418), pulsatile (b = -0.374), and mean CBFV (b = -0.473; P < 0.001 for all) after adjustment for age, sex, and body mass index (BMI). These results suggest that older age and male sex are associated with higher cerebrovascular impedance than young individuals, which may contribute to brain hypoperfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-181
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Aging
  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Fourier analysis
  • Sex-difference
  • Transcranial doppler

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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