Rat brain osmolality during barbiturate anesthesia and global brain ischemia.
Ischemic brain damage can be partially ameliorated by barbiturate therapy applied postinsult. Catabolism-induced brain hyperosmolality during ischemia may contribute to the development of brain edema after restoration of circulation. To determine changes in brain osmolality during ischemia and the effect of barbiturate anesthetics in altering its course, we measured whole and regional (cerebral cortex, diencephalon-midbrain, and cerebellum) brain osmolality for up to 2 hours after decapitation ischemia in unanesthetized and pentobarbital anesthetized rats. Normal (nonischemic) brain osmolality in pentobarbital anesthetized rats was 319 +/- 2 mOsm/1 (mean +/- SEM) and higher than in unanesthetized rats (307 +/- 6 mOsm/1). The rate of increase in whole brain osmolality was 60% slower in pentobarbital anesthetized rats in the first 60 minutes of ischemia and regional brain osmolality increased by a maximum of 32 mOsm/1 compared to 45 mOsm/1 in unanesthetized rats. The potential for edema based on percent change in brain osmolality as well as the rapidity of the change was greater in unanesthetized rats. The significance of the increase in brain osmolality with barbiturate anesthesia and its attenuation of the rate and magnitude of increase during ischemia is discussed.
- Copyright © 1978 by American Heart Association