✓ The effects of pretreatment with mannitol on local cerebral blood flow (CBF) after permanent or temporary global cerebral ischemia were evaluated with 14C-iodoantipyrine autoradiography in rats under halothane-N2O endotracheal anesthesia. Blood pressure, pulse rate, arterial blood gas levels, and electroencephalographic (EEG) tracings were monitored throughout the experiments. After permanent occlusion of the basilar artery and both external carotid and pterygopalatine arteries, severe global ischemia was induced by permanent occlusion of the common carotid arteries (CCA's) or by a 30-minute temporary CCA occlusion followed by 5 minutes of reperfusion. Intravenous mannitol (25%, 1 gm/kg) or saline solution was administered 5 minutes before occlusion of the CCA's. Cerebral blood flow was measured in 24 anatomical regions.
The EEG tracings flattened within 2 to 3 minutes after the onset of ischemia, and no recovery was observed during reperfusion. In the mannitol-treated rats and the saline-treated controls, autoradiographic studies after permanent occlusion showed no CBF in the forebrain or cerebellum, although brain-stem and spinal cord CBF values were normal. After 5 minutes of reperfusion, CBF in the cortex, basal ganglia, and white matter was 100% to 200% higher in mannitol-treated rats and 50% to 100% higher in saline-injected rats than in the nonischemic anesthetized control group. Heterogeneously distributed areas of no-reflow were seen in all saline-injected rats but were observed in none of the mannitol-treated rats. Pretreatment with mannitol prevented postischemic obstruction of the microcirculation during 5 minutes of recirculation after 30 minutes of severe temporary ischemia, but the EEG signals did not recover. Further studies of the functional and morphological responses to longer periods of postischemic recirculation are needed to verify the extent to which these mannitol-induced effects are protective.