Acute effects of alcohol on regional cerebral blood flow in man

Motoki Sano, Peter E. Wendt, Ann Wirsén, Georg Stenberg, Jarl Risberg, David H. Ingvar

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67 Citations (Scopus)


Acute effects of alcohol in a low (0.7 g/kg) and a high dose (1.5 g/kg) on regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) were measured with 133Xe inhalation technique at resting conditions in 13 normals. Mean hemisphere CBF increased globally by 12% at the lower dose and 16% at the higher dose. A normal hyperfrontal flow pattern was seen in both alcohol conditions. There were, however, significant regional differences in response to alcohol. The largest rCBF increase was observed in prefrontal regions at the lower dose, and in temporal regions at the higher. Expressed in relative values (% of the whole brain CBF), the temporal rCBF increased linearly with increasing alcohol dosage, while the prefrontal rCBF showed a increase at the lower dose followed by a decrease at the higher dose. It is concluded that alcohol has two types of acute effects on rCBF, a global vasodilatory effect and some regional effects, most clearly seen in prefrontal and temporal regions. The prefrontal flow augmentation following acute alcohol intake may be related to a transient arousal reaction, which has been reported by others. The temporal flow increase may be related to effects of alcohol on emotions and mood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-376
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking/*physiopathology
  • Alcoholic Intoxication/physiopathology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex/*blood supply
  • Dose-Response Relationship
  • Drug
  • Ethanol/*pharmacology/pharmacokinetics
  • Human
  • Male
  • Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Regional Blood Flow/drug effects
  • Support


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