Blood-brain barrier disruption after cardiopulmonary resuscitation in immature swine

Charles L. Schleien, Raymond C. Koehler, D. Hal Shaffner, Balthasar Eberle, Richard J. Traystman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated blood-brain barrier permeability in 2-3-week-old anesthetized pigs during and after cardiopulmonary resuscitation. We assessed permeability by tissue uptake of radiolabeled aminoisobutyric acid, after correcting for plasma counts in tissue with radiolabeled inulin. Among 14 regions examined, the transfer coefficient of aminoisobutyric acid in nonischemic control animals ranged from 0.0018± 0.0001 ml/g/min in diencephalon to 0.0049±0.0003 ml/g/min in cervical spinal cord. After 8 minutes of cardiac arrest followed by either 10 or 40 minutes of continuous sternal compression, there was no increase in the transfer coefficient. Likewise, during the immediate period after ventricular defibrillation, there was no increase in transfer coefficient despite the brief, transient hypertension. However, after 8 minutes of arrest, 6 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and 4 hours of spontaneous circulation, the transfer coefficient was significantly increased by 59-107% in 10 of 11 regions rostral to the pons. Plasma volume in tissue measured by inulin was not elevated, suggesting that the increased transfer coefficient was not due to increased surface area. Thus, after an 8-minute period of complete ischemia, the blood-brain barrier remains intact during and immediately after resuscitation despite large vascular pressure fluctuations. However, in contrast to previous work on adult dogs, immature pigs are prone to a delayed increase in permeability, thereby allowing circulating substances greater access to the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-483
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1991


  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Brainedema
  • Pigs
  • Resuscitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

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