Autoregulation in the ocular and cerebral arteries during the cold pressor test and handgrip exercise

Tsukasa Ikemura, Nami Someya, Naoyuki Hayashi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to determine whether autoregulation exerts similar effects in the ocular and cerebral vessels, which are both branches of the internal carotid artery. Ocular blood flow velocities, cerebral blood flow velocity and blood pressure were measured in 11 subjects during a 2-min resting period, static handgrip exercise (HG) and a cold pressor test (CPT). Blood velocity data for the superior and inferior temporal retinal arterioles (STRA and ITRA, respectively) and the retinal and choroidal vasculature (RCV) were obtained for 4 s during the measurement using laser speckle flowmetry. Mean blood flow velocity in the middle cerebral artery (MCAVmean) was measured by transcranial Doppler ultrasound. The conductance index (CI) of each vessel was calculated by dividing blood flow by mean arterial pressure. Blood flow velocity in the RCV increased by 19 ± 9% from resting baseline level during the CPT (P <0.05), while blood flow in the STRA, ITRA and MCAVmean did not. The CI of the MCA decreased. The RCV blood flow velocity, ITRA blood flow and MCAVmean increased by 8 ± 1, 9 ± 3 and 11 ± 4%, respectively, during the HG (P <0.05). Conversely, STRA blood flow remained unchanged. The HG did not significantly change the CI in any of the vessels measured. These findings suggest that cerebral blood flow velocity was maintained during the CPT, but autoregulation does not work well in the RCV during the CPT and HG.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-646
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Feb
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoregulation
  • Cerebral circulation
  • Ocular circulation
  • Pressor response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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