Daily rhythm of dynamic cerebral autoregulation in patients after stroke
Dynamic cerebral autoregulation (dCA) in healthy young adults displays a daily variation. Whether the rhythm exists in patients with stroke is unknown. We studied 28 stroke patients (age: 26–83 years, 7 females) within 48 hours after thrombolysis. dCA was assessed 54 times in these patients during supine rest (twice in 26 and once in 2 patients): 9 assessments between 0–9AM, 12 between 9AM–2PM, 20 between 2–7PM, and 13 between 7PM–12AM. To estimate dCA, phase shifts between spontaneous oscillations of cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV) in the middle cerebral artery and arterial blood pressure (BP) were obtained in four frequency bands: <0.05 Hz, 0.05–0.1 Hz, 0.1–0.2 Hz, and >0.2 Hz. CBFV-BP phase shifts at <0.05 Hz were significantly larger between 2–7PM, suggesting better dCA, than those at other times (p < 0.0001), and the daily rhythm was consistent for stroke and non-stroke sides. No significant rhythms were observed at higher frequencies (all p > 0.2). All results were independent of age, sex, stroke type and severity, and other cardiovascular conditions. dCA after stroke showed a daily rhythm, leading to a better regulation of CBFV at <0.05 Hz during the afternoon. The finding may have implications for daily activity management of stroke patients.