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Neurological outcome after experimental cardiopulmonary resuscitation: a result of delayed and potentially treatable neuronal injury?


Xiaoli Liu
Uppsala University Hospital
SE-751 85 Uppsala


Background: In experimental cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) aortic balloon occlusion, vasopressin, and hypertonic saline dextran administration improve cerebral blood flow. Free radical scavenger α-phenyl-N-tert-butyl-nitrone (PBN) and cyclosporine-A (CsA) alleviate neuronal damage after global ischemia. Combining these treatments, we investigated neurological outcome after experimental cardiac arrest.

Methods: Thirty anesthetized piglets, randomly allocated into three groups, were subjected to 8 min of ventricular fibrillation followed by 5 min of closed-chest CPR. The combined treatment (CT) group received all the above-mentioned modalities; group B was treated with balloon occlusion and epinephrine; and group C had sham balloon occlusion with epinephrine. Indicators of oxidative stress (8-iso-PGF), inflammation (15-keto-dihydro-PGF), energy crisis (hypoxanthine and xanthine), and anoxia/hypoxia (lactate) were monitored in jugular bulb venous blood. Neurological outcome was evaluated 24 h after CPR.

Results: Restoration of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) was more rapidly achieved and neurological outcome was significantly better in the CT group, although there was no difference in coronary perfusion pressure between groups. The jugular venous PCO2 and cerebral oxygen extraction ratio were lower in the CT group at 5–15 min after ROSC. Jugular venous 8-iso-PGF and hypoxanthine after ROSC were correlated to 24 h neurological outcome

Conclusions: A combination of cerebral blood flow promoting measures and administration of α-phenyl-N-tert-butyl-nitrone and cyclosporine-A improved 24 h neurological outcome after 8 min of experimental normothermic cardiac arrest, indicating an ongoing neuronal injury in the reperfusion phase.