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Abstract

Bicuculline-induced status epilepticus was studied in paralyzed rabbits ventilated with an oxygen and nitrous oxide mixture. An Oxford Instruments TMR 32–200 spectrometer was used to record phosphorus 31 nuclear magnetic resonance spectra of the in vivo brain. An array of conventional physiological variables including the electroencephalogram was simultaneously recorded. Several features were consistently observed during status epilepticus: (1) Phosphocreatine levels fell to about two-thirds of their control values and remained at that level despite a gradual decline in seizure activity: (2) intracellular pH declined and then remained constant, whereas seizure discharges declined; (3) adenosine triphosphate levels remained constant at their control values. These new, lower levels of brain phosphocreatine and intracellular pH were largely unaffected by increases in seizure activity brought about by elevation of blood pressure from levels too low to support adequate cerebral perfusion, by waning of anticonvulsant drug effect, or by repeated doses of bicuculline.