Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Cerebral blood flow in diabetes mellitus: evidence of abnormal cerebrovascular reactivity.

Br Med J 1978; 2 doi: (Published 29 July 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;2:325
  1. P Dandona,
  2. I M James,
  3. P A Newbury,
  4. M L Woollard,
  5. A G Beckett


    Cerebral blood flow (CBF) was studied at normocapnia and after a challenge with 5% CO2 in 59 diabetic patients and 28 controls. There was a significant age-related decline in CBF in both groups, which suggests that diabetes does not affect the rate of decrease of CBF with age. After CO2 challenge CBF increased in most of the controls; in the patients CBF increased in 23, decreased in 26, and remained stable in 10. Thus the reactivity of cerebral blood vessels in diabetics is altered. Diabetics have diminished cerebrovascular reserve and are thus at increased risk of cerebrovascular disease because they are unable to compensate when necessary with an increased CBF.