Xenon augmented hypothermia reduces early lactate/N-acetylaspartate and cell death in perinatal asphyxia



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 76, Issue 6, 919, Article first published online: 16 October 2014



Additional treatments for therapeutic hypothermia are required to maximize neuroprotection for perinatal asphyxial encephalopathy. We assessed neuroprotective effects of combining inhaled xenon with therapeutic hypothermia after transient cerebral hypoxia–ischemia in a piglet model of perinatal asphyxia using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) biomarkers supported by immunohistochemistry.


Thirty-six newborn piglets were randomized (all groups n = 9), with intervention from 2 to 26 hours, to: (1) normothermia; (2) normothermia + 24 hours 50% inhaled xenon; (3) 24 hours hypothermia (33.5°C); or (4) 24 hours hypothermia (33.5°C) + 24 hours 50% inhaled xenon. Serial MRS was acquired before, during, and up to 48 hours after hypoxia–ischemia.


Mean arterial blood pressure was lower in all treatment groups compared with normothermia (p < 0.01) (although >40mmHg); the combined therapy group required more fluid boluses (p < 0.05) and inotropes (p < 0.001). Compared with no intervention, both hypothermia and xenon-augmented hypothermia reduced the temporal regression slope magnitudes for phosphorus-MRS inorganic phosphate/exchangeable phosphate pool (EPP) and phosphocreatine/EPP (both p < 0.05); for lactate/N-acetylaspartate (NAA), only xenon-augmented hypothermia reduced the slope (p < 0.01). Xenon-augmented hypothermia also reduced transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL)+ nuclei and caspase 3 immunoreactive cells in parasagittal cortex and putamen and increased microglial ramification in midtemporal cortex compared with the no treatment group (p < 0.05). Compared with hypothermia, however, combination treatment did not reach statistical significance for any measure. Lactate/NAA showed a strong positive correlation with TUNEL; nucleotide triphosphate/EPP showed a strong negative correlation with microglial ramification (both p < 0.01).


Compared with no treatment, xenon-augmented hypothermia reduced cerebral MRS abnormalities and cell death markers in some brain regions. Compared with hypothermia, xenon-augmented hypothermia did not reach statistical significance for any measure. The safety and possible improved efficacy support phase II trials. Ann Neurol 2011;