Hypotension as a complication of hypoglycemia leads to enhanced energy failure but no increase in neuronal necrosis.
The hypothesis that arterial hypotension aggravates hypoglycemic brain damage was tested. Thirty minutes of insulin induced hypoglycemia with a flat EEG ("isoelectricity") was compared in seven series of rats. In three series of animals, the energy state of the cerebral cortex was determined at blood pressures of 140, 100 and 80 mm Hg respectively. Hypotension during hypoglycemia exacerbated cortical energy failure. In the fourth to sixth series, blood pressure was adjusted during isoelectricity to 160, 100 and 60 mm Hg, respectively. A seventh series had induced hypotension to 60 mm Hg only in the recovery period. Quantitation of neuronal death was performed in the fourth to seventh series of rats by direct visual counting of acidophilic neurons in sub-serially sectioned brains after one week survival. Although the first three series demonstrated enhanced deterioration of the cerebral energy state with lower blood pressures during hypoglycemia, the fourth to seventh series showed no augmentation of quantitated hypoglycemic neuronal necrosis. The distinct distribution of hypoglycemic brain damage, suggesting a fluid-borne toxin, was present at normal and reduced blood pressures, with no tendency toward an ischemic pattern of pathology. In spite of previously demonstrated reductions of cerebral blood flow to ischemic levels in regions with pronounced loss of autoregulation, no regional exacerbation of neuronal necrosis was seen in these brain areas. It is concluded that hypoglycemic brain damage is distinct from ischemic brain damage, and that the two insults are not additive. Furthermore, moderate hypotension to 60 mm Hg does not aggravate the damage in spite of an enhanced energy failure.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association