Superior cerebral protection with profound hypothermia during circulatory arrest.

Department of Cardiac Surgery, Zanvyl Kreiger Mind/Brain Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland.
The Annals of Thoracic Surgery (Impact Factor: 3.63). 07/1993; 55(6):1432-9. DOI: 10.1016/0003-4975(93)91084-Z
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The optimal temperature for cerebral protection during hypothermic circulatory arrest is not known. This study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that deeper levels of cerebral hypothermia (< 10 degrees C) confer better protection against neurologic injury during prolonged hypothermic circulatory arrest ("colder is better"). Twelve male dogs (20 to 25 kg) were placed on closed-chest cardiopulmonary bypass via femoral artery and femoral/external jugular vein. Using surface and core cooling, tympanic membrane temperature was lowered to 18 degrees to 20 degrees C (deep hypothermia, n = 6) or 5 degrees to 7 degrees C (profound hypothermia, n = 6). After 2 hours of hypothermic circulatory arrest, animals were rewarmed to 35 degrees to 37 degrees C on cardiopulmonary bypass. All were mechanically ventilated and monitored in an intensive care unit setting for 20 hours. Neurologic assessment was performed every 12 hours using a species-specific behavior scale that yielded a neurodeficit score ranging from 0% to 100%, where 0 = normal and 100% = brain dead. After 72 hours, animals were sacrificed and examined histologically for neurologic injury. Histologic injury scores were assigned to each animal (range, 0 [normal] to 100 [severe injury]). At the end of the observation period, profoundly hypothermic animals had better neurologic function (neurodeficit score, 5.7% +/- 4.0%) compared with deeply hypothermic animals (neurodeficit score, 41% +/- 9.3%; p < 0.006). Every animal had histologic evidence of neurologic injury, but profoundly hypothermic animals had significantly less injury (histologic injury score, 19.2 +/- 1.2 versus 48.3 +/- 1.5; p < 0.0001).

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