Pulsatile versus nonpulsatile reperfusion improves cerebral blood flow after cardiac arrest

Mark P. Anstadt, Mark Tedder, Sanjay S. Hegde, R. Anthony Perez-Tamayo, Barbara J. Crain, Victor Lin Khian Ha, Salah Abdel-Aleem, William D. White, James E. Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cardiopulmonary bypass using nonpulsatile flow (NF) is currently advocated for treating refractory cardiac arrest. Although the heart can be revived using cardiopulmonary bypass support, the brain must recover if such therapy is to be considered successful. Previous studies have demonstrated that pulsatile flow (PF) reperfusion can improve neurologic outcome compared with NF reperfusion after cardiac arrest. The purpose of this study was to assess cerebral perfusion and oxygen consumption during either PF or NF reperfusion after cardiac arrest. Dogs (n = 22) underwent a 15-minute cardiac arrest followed by 1 hour of either PF or NF reperfusion. Microsphere techniques were used to assess cerebral perfusion and oxygen consumption at 3, 15, and 60 minutes of reperfusion. Mean arteriovenous gradients and total brain flows were similar in both groups. However, cerebral oxygen consumption was significantly improved at 3 minutes of reperfusion with PF versus NF (1.8 ± 0.3 versus 0.9 ± 0.3 mL O2 · dL-1 · min-1, respectively; p < 0.05). These results were coincident with improved gray-to-white flow ratios at 3 minutes of PF versus NF reperfusion (5.2 ± 1.0 versus 2.0 ± 0.3, respectively;p < 0.05). There were no statistically significant differences in brain perfusion variables by 15 minutes of reperfusion. However, a relative hyperemia was exhibited at 15 minutes of NF versus PF reperfusion, which suggests nutrient flow was insufficient during early NF versus PF reperfusion. In conclusion, PF reperfusion can better restore cerebral blood flow and oxygen consumption than can NF reperfusion. These findings provide a mechanism that explains how PF versus NF reperfusion may have improved neurologic outcome after cardiac arrest in previous studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-461
Number of pages9
JournalThe Annals of thoracic surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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