Blood-brain barrier integrity during cardiopulmonary resuscitation in dogs

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Blood-brain barrier integrity during cardiopulmonary resuscitation may be important because of the potential effects of adrenergic agonists administered during arrest on cerebral metabolism and the cerebral vasculature. As an index of blood-brain barrier permeability to small molecules, we measured the brain uptake of [14C]α-aminoisobutyric acid during a 10-minute period in 25 anesthetized dogs. To correct for the amount of carbon-14 label in the plasma space, we administered [3H] inulin 2 minutes before death. The mean transfer coefficient in 14 brain regions of five control dogs ranged from 0.002 to 0.007 ml/g/min. After 8 (n = 15) or 15 (n=5) minutes of cardiac arrest, external chest compression was instituted to maintain aortic blood pressure above 60 mm Hg. The transfer coefficient was not elevated during chest compression (n=10), immediately following defibrillation (n=5), or 4 hours after resuscitation (n=5); in some brain regions the transfer coefficient decreased. However, the decrease in the transfer coefficient was proportional to the decrease in the cerebral plasma volume as measured by the ratio of the [3H]inulin concentration in the tissue to that in the plasma. Thus, it is unlikely that a decrease in capillary surface area masked an increase in blood-brain barrier permeability. Therefore, we found no evidence of blood—brain barrier disruption during or after cardiopulmonary resuscitation in dogs. Despite the large phasic increases in sagittal sinus pressure associated with external chest compression, concurrent increases in cerebrospinal fluid pressure apparently protect the microcirculation from increased trans mural pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1185-1191
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1990


  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Brain edema
  • Dogs
  • Resuscitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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