9 Citations (Scopus)


Cerebral autoregulation is a complex mechanism that serves to keep cerebral blood flow relatively constant within a wide range of cerebral perfusion pressures. The mean flow index (Mx) is one of several methods to assess dynamic cerebral autoregulation, but its reliability and validity have never been assessed systematically. The purpose of the present systematic review was to evaluate the methodology, reliability and validity of Mx. Based on 128 studies, we found inconsistency in the pre-processing of the recordings and the methods for calculation of Mx. The reliability in terms of repeatability and reproducibility ranged from poor to excellent, with optimal repeatability when comparing overlapping recordings. The discriminatory ability varied depending on the patient populations; in general, those with acute brain injury exhibited a higher Mx than healthy volunteers. The prognostic ability in terms of functional outcome and mortality ranged from chance result to moderate accuracy. Since the methodology was inconsistent between studies, resulting in varying reliability and validity estimates, the results were difficult to compare. The optimal method for deriving Mx is currently unknown.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)27-38
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • autoregulation
  • confounders
  • Mean flow index
  • methodology
  • Mx
  • reliability
  • systematic review
  • validity


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