We measured the middle cerebral artery (MCA) flow‐velocities of 12 small infants (mean weight, 2,882 ± 602 g) before, during, and after the rapid thoracic compression (RTC) maneuvers of partial forced expiratory flow‐volume studies. Cerebral flow‐velocities were measured using transcranial Doppler ultrasonography. RTC increased MCA end diastolic flow‐velocities and Pourcelot indices of all infants (P < 0.001). These values returned to baseline immediately after the release of chest compression. We also measured the MCA flow‐velocities of several preterm infants during their normal daily activities. The changes in flow‐velocity patterns observed during normal daily life were similar to those observed during RTC. These findings demonstrate that RTC produces real, but likely not pathologic, changes in cerebral blood flow‐velocities. © 1992 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
- Doppler ultrasonography
- Partial forced expiratory flow‐volume curves