Pentobarbital changes compartmental contribution to cerebral blood flow

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✓ Barbiturates were administered to normal dogs, establishing an isoelectric electrocorticogram. Cortical cerebral blood flows (CBF) and deeper CBF's were respectively measured by krypton-85 (85Kr) and xenon-133 (133Xe). Following barbiturate administration, the two methods of measuring CBF showed a poor coefficient of variation (r = 0.12, p < 0.05). The cortical flows decreased less than the fast compartment flows. A shifting of percentage contribution of flow to the slow compartment (60% increase, p < 0.001) was observed after barbiturate infusion. A selective shunting of blood flow to the slower areas may explain the lowering of intracranial pressure and protection of the deep white matter observed by many authors who use barbiturates in clinical and experimental situations.

Article Information

Address for Dr. Lawner: Department of Neurosurgery, Harbor/UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, California 90509.

Address for Dr. Simeone and Mr. Fink: Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107.

Address reprint requests to: John P. Laurent, M.D., Division of Neurosurgery, Texas Children's Hospital, Suite 0-202, Texas Medical Center, Houston, Texas 77030.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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Figures

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    Diagrammatic illustration of the volume of brain measured with xenon-133.

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    Diagrammatic illustration of the volume of brain measured with krypton-85.

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    Percentage change in cerebral blood flows from control flows measured at 1 hour in nonbarbiturate and barbiturate groups. Ff = fast flow; Fs = slow flow; MF = mean flow; Wf = percentage fast flow; Ws = percentage slow flow.

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