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  • Author or Editor: Bon H. Verweij x
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Bon H. Verweij, J. Paul Muizelaar and Federico C. Vinas

Object. The poor prognosis for traumatic acute subdural hematoma (ASDH) might be due to underlying primary brain damage, ischemia, or both. Ischemia in ASDH is likely caused by increased intracranial pressure (ICP) leading to decreased cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP), but the degree to which these phenomena occur is unknown. The authors report data obtained before and during removal of ASDH in five cases.

Methods. Five patients who underwent emergency evacuation of ASDH were monitored. In all patients, without delaying treatment, a separate surgical team (including the senior author) placed an ICP monitor and a jugular bulb catheter, and in two patients a laser Doppler probe was placed.

The ICP prior to removing the bone flap in the five patients was 85, 85, 50, 59, and greater than 40 mm Hg, resulting in CPPs of 25, 3, 25, 56, and less than 50 mm Hg, respectively. Removing the bone flap as well as opening the dura and removing the blood clot produced a significant decrease in ICP and an increase in CPP. Jugular venous oxygen saturation (SjvO2) increased in four patients and decreased in the other during removal of the hematoma. Laser Doppler flow also increased, to 217% and 211% compared with preevacuation flow.

Conclusions. Intracranial pressure is higher than previously suspected and CPP is very low in patients with ASDH. Removal of the bone flap yielded a significant reduction in ICP, which was further decreased by opening the dura and evacuating the hematoma. The SjvO2 as well as laser Doppler flow increased in all patients but one immediately after removal of the hematoma.

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Bon H. Verweij, J. Paul Muizelaar, Federico C. Vinas, Patti L. Peterson, Ye Xiong and Chuan P. Lee

Object. Oxygen supply to the brain is often insufficient after traumatic brain injury (TBI), and this results in decreased energy production (adenosine triphosphate [ATP]) with consequent neuronal cell death. It is obviously important to restore oxygen delivery after TBI; however, increasing oxygen delivery alone may not improve ATP production if the patient's mitochondria (the source of ATP) are impaired. Traumatic brain injury has been shown to impair mitochondrial function in animals; however, no human studies have been previously reported.

Methods. Using tissue fractionation procedures, living mitochondria derived from therapeutically removed brain tissue were analyzed in 16 patients with head injury (Glasgow Coma Scale Scores 3–14) and two patients without head injury. Results revealed that in head-injured patients mitochondrial function was impaired, with subsequent decreased ATP production.

Conclusions. Decreased oxygen metabolism due to mitochondrial dysfunction must be taken into account when clinically defining ischemia and interpreting oxygen measurements such as jugular venous oxygen saturation, arteriovenous difference in oxygen content, direct tissue oxygen tension, and cerebral blood oxygen content determined using near-infrared spectroscopy. Restoring mitochondrial function might be as important as maintaining oxygen delivery.

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Bon H. Verweij, J. Paul Muizelaar, Federico C. Vinas, Patti L. Peterson, Ye Xiong and Chuan P. Lee

Object. Determining the efficacy of a drug used in experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI) requires the use of one or more outcome measures such as decreased mortality or fewer neurological and neuropsychological deficits. Unfortunately, outcomes in these test batteries have a fairly large variability, requiring relatively large sample sizes, and administration of the tests themselves is also very time consuming. The authors previously demonstrated that experimental TBI and human TBI induce mitochondrial dysfunction. Because mitochondrial dysfunction is easy to assess compared with neurobehavioral endpoints, it might prove useful as an outcome measure to establish therapeutic time windows and dose—response curves in preclinical drug testing. This idea was tested in a model of TBI in rats.

Methods. Animals treated with the selective N-type voltage-sensitive calcium channel blocker Ziconotide (also known as SNX-111 and CI-1009) after cortical impact displayed significant improvement in brain mitochondrial function. When a single intravenous bolus injection of 4 mg/kg Ziconotide was given at different time intervals, ranging from 15 minutes before injury to 10 hours after injury, mitochondrial function was improved at all time points, but more so between 2 and 6 hours postinjury. The authors evaluated the effects on mitochondrial function of Ziconotide at different doses by administering 0.5 to 6 mg/kg as a single bolus injection 4 hours after injury, and found 4 mg/kg to be the optimum dose.

Conclusions. The authors established these time-window profiles and dose—response curves on the basis of mitochondrial outcome measures in a total of 42 rats because there were such low standard deviations in these tests. Establishing similar time-window profiles and dose—response curves by using neurobehavioral endpoints would have required using 114 rats in much more elaborate experiments.