Elevation of intrathoracic pressure during cardiopulmonary resuscitation generates carotid pressure and flow, but also increases intracranial pressure. This increase in intracranial pressure may limit cerebral blood flow. Therefore, we performed studies designed to quantify the extent of this transmission and to identify the mechanism of transmission of intrathoracic pressure to the intracranial space during cardiopulmonary resuscitation in dogs. Intracranial pressure increased during the chest compression phase of all modes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation tested. During simultaneous compression-ventilation cardiopulmonary resuscitation, change in intracranial pressure (mm Hg) = 0.33 change in intrathoracic pressure (mm Hg) + 2.02 (r = 0.86) and was not significantly different from the relationship observed during conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The magnitude of transmission of intrathoracic pressure to the intracranial space was increased by binding the abdomen and by raising the baseline intracranial pressure. No single route accounted for transmission of intrathoracic pressure to the intracranial space during cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Intracranial pressure fluctuations were unrelated to either carotid arterial or jugular venous pressure, and were found instead to be the result of pressure transmission by blood in non-valved veins and by cerebrospinal fluid. This was determined by three maneuvers. First, obstruction of cerebrospinal fluid flow by ligation of the cervical spinal cord reduced intracranial pressure (P < 0.001) and made the change in intracranial pressure equivalent to pressure changes at the confluence of the intracranial venous sinuses, without affecting pressure changes at the confluence of the intracranial venous sinuses. Second, ligation of the cervical spinal cord and one of the two longitudinal vertebral veins adjacent to the cervical cord reduced the pressure changes in the intracranial space and at the confluence of the intracranial venous sinuses to about 60% of the levels observed when the cervical cord alone was ligated. Thus, the non-valved longitudinal vertebral veins appear to be the vascular channels of critical importance to pressure transmission. Finally, pressure changes in the thoracic cerebrospinal fluid were increased (P < 0.05) by cord ligation, even after exsanguination minimized pressure transmission via blood-filled channels, indicating direct transmission of intrathoracic pressure through intervertebral foramina to the cerebrospinal fluid. Thus, although non-valved veins and cerebrospinal fluid account for transmission of intrathoracic pressure to the intracranial space during cardiopulmonary resuscitation, this pressure transmission is modest except with abdominal binding or under conditions of increased intracranial pressure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine