Sympathetic ganglionic blockade masks beneficial effect of isoflurane on histologic outcome from near-complete forebrain ischemia in the rat.
BACKGROUND: Isoflurane-anesthetized rats have better outcome from global cerebral ischemia than rats anesthetized with fentanyl and nitrous oxide. The authors wanted to determine whether circulating catecholamine concentrations depend on the anesthetic agent and whether sympathetic ganglionic blockade affects anesthetic-mediated differences in outcome from near-complete forebrain ischemia. METHODS: For two different experiments, normothermic Sprague-Dawley rats that had fasted were assigned to one of four groups and subjected to 10 min of 30 mm Hg mean arterial pressure and bilateral carotid occlusion. Rats were anesthetized with 1.4% isoflurane or fentanyl (25 microg x kg(-1) x h(-1)) and 70% nitrous oxide, with or without preischemic trimethaphan (2.5 mg given intravenously). In experiment 1, arterial plasma catecholamine concentrations were measured before, at 2 and 8 min during, and after ischemia (n = 5-8). In experiment 2, animals (n = 15) underwent histologic analysis 5 days after ischemia. RESULTS: In experiment 1, intraischemic increases in plasma norepinephrine and epinephrine levels were 28 and 12 times greater in the fentanyl-nitrous oxide group than in the isoflurane group (P<0.01). Trimethaphan blocked all changes in plasma catecholamine concentrations (P<0.02). In experiment 2, isoflurane reduced the mean +/- SD percentage of dead hippocampal CA1 neurons compared with fentanyl-nitrous oxide (43+/-22% vs. 87+/-10%; P<0.001). Trimethaphan abolished the beneficial effects of isoflurane (91+/-6%; P<0.001). Similar observations were made in the cortex. CONCLUSIONS: Isoflurane attenuated the peripheral sympathetic response to ischemia and improved histologic outcome compared with fentanyl and nitrous oxide. This outcome benefit was reversed by sympathetic ganglionic blockade. The beneficial effects of isoflurane may result from a neuroprotective influence of an intermediate sympathetic response that is abolished by trimethaphan.
Mackensen, GB; Nellgård, B; Miura, Y; Chu, CT; Dexter, F; Pearlstein, RD; Warner, DS
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