Spinal cord blood flow and systemic blood pressure after experimental spinal cord injury in rats.
We looked at the relation between systemic arterial blood pressure and recovery from spinal cord injury by inducing both hypertension and hypotension in 25 rats randomly allocated to five equal groups. The rats received no injury, a mild (2.3-g), or a severe (53.0-g) spinal cord injury lasting 1 minute. We used the hydrogen clearance technique to measure spinal cord blood flow at the injury site (T1) and at an adjacent site (C6). Mean systemic arterial blood pressure was either increased with adrenaline or decreased by phlebotomy in 20-mm-Hg intervals except for the severe-injury group, in which the posttraumatic pressure could only be increased with adrenaline. Spinal cord blood flow remained constant in the no-injury group between 81 and 180 mm Hg. After a mild injury, induced moderate hypertension (121-140 mm Hg) improved spinal cord blood flow significantly, whereas hypotension decreased it in a linear fashion. Severe injury caused a marked decrease in spinal cord blood flow and mean systemic arterial blood pressure. Even extreme hypertension (161-180 mm Hg) induced by adrenaline did not significantly increase spinal cord blood flow at T1 but caused hyperemia at C6 due to loss of autoregulation. In conclusion, normotension should be attempted, irrespective of the severity of spinal cord injury. Induced hypertension after severe spinal cord injury was not beneficial in improving spinal cord blood flow at the injury site while potentially increasing hemorrhage and edema.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association