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Sept 7, 1963

Autoregulation—`A Protective Mechanism'

JAMA. 1963;185(10):30. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060100006002

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In this issue, the MEDICAL NEWS pages are devoted to a review of research dealing with autoregulation of blood flow, a physiological phenomenon with which many practitioners and clinicians may be unfamiliar. Basically, autoregulation is "a tendency" for an organ or vascular area "to maintain a constant blood flow despite changes in perfusion pressure," in the words of Dr. Paul C. Johnson, of the department of physiology at Indiana University Medical Center, who helped organize the International Symposium on the Autoregulation of Blood Flow, which was held several weeks ago at the center. It is principally from material presented at the symposium that the following articles were drawn.

The section opens with an historical introduction, summarizing the research on autoregulation that has been done to date. Following this, the autoregulatory principle, as it pertains to the heart, brain, intestine, kidney, and muscle, will be discussed. While it is generally agreed that autoregulation does occur, there is disagreement as to why, and thus many of the conclusions are hypothetical.