Effect of thiopental therapy on cerebral blood flow after total cerebral ischemia

K. A. Koch, D. L. Jackson, M. Schmiedl, W. L. Thompson, J. I. Rosenblatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The effect of barbiturate coma upon regional cerebral blood flow (RCBF) and ultimate neurologic outcome was examined after total cerebral ischemia (TCI). TCI was induced in dogs using a relatively noninvasive double-occlusion balloon technique; cardiopulmonary protection was provided during the period of ischemia. RCBF was measured using 15-α radioactively labeled microspheres. A reproducible pattern of impaired reperfusion of the central nervous system (CNS) was observed in control animals after the restoration of cerebral perfusion pressure after TCI. This pattern was accentuated by the administration of pentothal to induce barbiturate coma. The additional depression in RCBF in those animals receiving pentothal was most prominent in cortical matter and brainstem structures at 3 and 6 h after TCI. It was also observed in cortical white matter. No untreated animal surviving TCI achieved a neurologic functional level better than persistent vegetative (decerebrate) survival over 1 wk of observation. Animals receiving 90 mg/kg body weight of pentothal post-TCI demonstrated irreversible cardiogenic shock related to the myocardial depressant effect of the drug. Animals receiving 40 to 60 mg/kg of pentothal post-TCI demonstrated a survival rate similar to that of untreated animals. Although this study did not establish the possible effectiveness of barbiturate coma in improving residual neurologic damage after TCI, the data do demonstrate that any possible effectiveness in this model is not associated with any improvement in the markedly decreased cerebral perfusion after TCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-95
Number of pages6
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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