Studies of CBF have provided some insight into cerebrovascular physiology and pharmacology. However, the precise relation between CBF and cerebral damage remains elusive, and there is no definition of a threshold CBF below which ischaemic brain damage always occurs. Measurement of CBF thus does not currently provide a secure guide in the clinical management of sick infants. Further work, particularly using techniques like magnetic resonance imaging and NIRS, which provide data in addition to CBF measurements, may yet disclose strategies which manipulate CBF to reduce cerebral ischaemia. While cerebral injury remains a substantial problem in neonatal intensive care, such research is urgently needed.
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