Closed-loop regulation of arterial pressure after acute brain death

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: The purpose of this concept study was to investigate the possibility of automatic mean arterial pressure (MAP) regulation in a porcine heart-beating brain death (BD) model. Hemodynamic stability of BD donors is necessary for maintaining acceptable quality of donated organs for transplantation. Manual stabilization is challenging, due to the lack of vasomotor function in BD donors. Closed-loop stabilization therefore has the potential of increasing availability of acceptable donor organs, and serves to indicate feasibility within less demanding patient groups.

Method: A dynamic model of nitroglycerine pharmacology, suitable for controller synthesis, was identified from an experiment involving an anesthetized pig, using a gradient-based output error method. The model was used to synthesize a robust PID controller for hypertension prevention, evaluated in a second experiment, on a second, brain dead, pig. Hypotension was simultaneously prevented using closed-loop controlled infusion of noradrenaline, by means of a previously published controller.

Results: A linear model of low order, with variable (uncertain) gain, was sufficient to describe the dynamics to be controlled. The robustly tuned PID controller utilized in the second experiment kept the MAP within a user-defined range. The system was able to prevent hypertension, exceeding a reference of 100 mmHg by more than 10 %, during 98 % of a 12 h experiment.

Conclusion: This early work demonstrates feasibility of the investigated modelling and control synthesis approach, for the purpose of maintaining normotension in a porcine BD model. There remains a need to characterize individual variability, in order to ensure robust performance over the expected population.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Control Engineering
  • Other Basic Medicine


  • hemodynamics, blood pressure, closed-loop control, brain death
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-437
JournalJournal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch

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