Conditioned blood reperfusion markedly enhances neurologic recovery after prolonged cerebral ischemia

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Objectives: To determine whether controlled reperfusion using conditioned leukodepleted blood can substantially limit cerebral reperfusion injury following prolonged ischemia. Methods: Eighteen pigs (25-35 kg) underwent 90 minutes of hypothermic circulatory arrest (19°C) to produce brain ischemia. At the start of rewarming, 10 pigs received uncontrolled reperfusion with unmodified (normal) blood. The other 8 pigs underwent 10 minutes of controlled reperfusion by selectively perfusing both common carotid arteries with blood passed through a COBRA filter. This filter conditions the blood by removing white blood cells, platelets, and attenuating complement. Two other pigs underwent cooling and rewarming only (controls) without ischemia. Neurologic assessment was done using neurologic deficit scoring (0 = normal, 500 = brain death), and jugular venous samples were obtained for biochemical analysis postreperfusion. Results: There were no statistical differences in hemodynamics between groups. At 6 hours postanesthesia, all animals receiving normal blood were substantially neurologically impaired. At 24 hours, they all had abnormal positioning and all but 1 were unable to sit or stand (neurologic score 124 ± 19). In contrast, nonischemic controls and pigs receiving conditioned blood reperfusion showed only minor neurologic deficits at 6 hours, and at 24 hours all were considered normal (neurologic scores 0 and 6 ± 5; P < .005 vs uncontrolled reperfusion). Compared with pigs receiving normal blood reperfusion, oxygen free radical formation (conjugated dienes 1.70 ± 0. 03 vs 1.60 ± 0.02 Abs 240 nm; P < .05 vs uncontrolled reperfusion), and endothelin-1 release (2.12 ± 0.09 vs 1.84 ± 0.06 pg/mL; P < .05 vs uncontrolled reperfusion) were also significantly lower in animals receiving conditioned blood. Conclusions: Following prolonged cerebral ischemia, reperfusion injury is avoided by delivering conditioned blood, which is devoid of white cells, platelets, and membrane attack complex. These results suggest that this modality is clinically useful in situations where the brain is subjected to prolonged ischemia.




Allen, B. S., Castellá, M., Buckberg, G. D., & Tan, Z. (2003). Conditioned blood reperfusion markedly enhances neurologic recovery after prolonged cerebral ischemia. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 126(6), 1851–1858.

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