Introduction to Cerebral Circulation- Minutes to Win it! (USMLE)
Autoregulation of Blood Flow, Animation
Cerebral circulation is the movement of blood through the network of cerebral arteries and veins supplying the brain. The rate of the cerebral blood flow in the adult is typically 750 milliliters per minute, representing 15% of the cardiac output. The arteries deliver oxygenated blood, glucose and other nutrients to the brain, and the veins carry deoxygenated blood back to the heart, removing carbon dioxide, lactic acid, and other metabolic products. Since the brain is very vulnerable to compromises in its blood supply, the cerebral circulatory system has many safeguards including autoregulation of the blood vessels and the failure of these safeguards can result in a stroke. The amount of blood that the cerebral circulation carries is known as cerebral blood flow. The presence of gravitational fields or accelerations also determine variations in the movement and distribution of blood in the brain, such as when suspended upside-down.