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Effects of cerebral air embolism on brain metabolism in pigs

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van Hulst RA, Lameris TW, Hasan D, Klein J, Lachmann B. Effects of cerebral air embolism on brain metabolism in pigs.

Acta Neurol Scand 2003: 108: 118–124. © Blackwell Munksgaard 2003. Objectives –

Cerebral air embolism was induced in pigs and changes in intracranial pressure (ICP), brain oxygen (PbrO2), brain carbon dioxide (PbrCO2), brain pH (brpH) and glucose, lactate and pyruvate levels were used to characterize this model. Methods –

In seven anesthetized pigs, ICP, PbrO2, PbrCO2 and brpH were measured continuously with multiparameter sensors and brain glucose metabolism by microdialysis. After injection of air into the internal carotid artery, these parameters were recorded for 2 h. Results –

ICP increased (433%) from 12 ± 1 to 52 ± 8 mmHg (P < 0.05). PbrO2 decreased from 25.7 ± 6.2 to 11.9 ± 5.2 mmHg. PbrCO2 increased (109%) from 57.7 ± 2.7 to 120.4 ± 21.5 mmHg (P < 0.05). Brain glucose decreased (38%) from 3.05 ± 0.91 to 1.91 ± 0.55 mmol, while brain lactate increased (384%) from 1.36 ± 0.15 to 5.22 ± 0.53 mmol/l (P < 0.05). Conclusions –

Cerebral air embolism has a deleterious effect on ICP and brain metabolism. Therefore, this model may be suitable for testing therapeutic regimens in cerebral air embolism.

Keywords: air embolism; brain metabolism; intracranial pressure; microdialysis; multiparameter sensor

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Internal Medicine; 2: Neurology, Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam, the Netherlands; 3: Departments of Anesthesiology;

Publication date: August 1, 2003

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