Effect of cerebral perfusion pressure on contusion volume following impact injury

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Object. Although it is generally acknowledged that a sufficient cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) is necessary for treatment of severe head injury, the optimum CPP is still a subject of debate. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of various levels of blood pressure and, thereby, CPP on posttraumatic contusion volume.

Methods. The left hemispheres of 60 rats were subjected to controlled cortical impact injury (CCII). In one group of animals the mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) was lowered for 30 minutes to 80, 70, 60, 50, or 40 mm Hg 4 hours after contusion by using hypobaric hypotension. In another group of animals the MABP was elevated for 3 hours to 120 or 140 mm Hg 4 hours after contusion by administering dopamine. The MABP was not changed in respective control groups. Intracranial pressure (ICP) was monitored with an ICP microsensor. The rats were killed 28 hours after trauma occurred and contusion volume was assessed using hematoxylin and eosin—stained coronal slices. No significant change in contusion volume was caused by a decrease in MABP from 94 to 80 mm Hg (ICP 12 ± 1 mm Hg), but a reduction of MABP to 70 mm Hg (ICP 9 ± 1 mm Hg) significantly increased the contusion volume (p < 0.05). A further reduction of MABP led to an even more enlarged contusion volume. Although an elevation of MABP to 120 mm Hg (ICP 16 ± 2 mm Hg) did not significantly affect contusion volume, there was a significant increase in the contusion volume at 140 mm Hg MABP (p < 0.05; ICP 18 ± 1 mm Hg).

Conclusions. Under these experimental conditions, CPP should be kept within 70 to 105 mm Hg to minimize posttraumatic contusion volume. A CPP of 60 mm Hg and lower as well as a CPP of 120 mm Hg and higher should be considered detrimental.

Article Information

Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Stefan-Nikolaus Kroppenstedt, M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Charité, Campus Virchow, Humboldt-University Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany.
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