Influence of oxygen therapy on glucose—lactate metabolism after diffuse brain injury

Michael Reinert M.D.1, Benoit Schaller M.D.1, Hans Rudolf Widmer Ph.D.1, Rolf Seiler M.D.1, and Ross Bullock M.D., Ph.D.1
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  • 1 Departments of Neurological Surgery, University of Bern, and Inselspital Bern, Switzerland; and Department of Neurosurgery, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
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Object. Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) imposes a huge metabolic load on brain tissue, which can be summarized initially as a state of hypermetabolism and hyperglycolysis. In experiments O2 consumption has been shown to increase early after trauma, especially in the presence of high lactate levels and forced O2 availability. In recent clinical studies the effect of increasing O2 availability on brain metabolism has been analyzed. By their nature, however, clinical trauma models suffer from a heterogeneous injury distribution. The aim of this study was to analyze, in a standardized diffuse brain injury model, the effect of increasing the fraction of inspired O2 on brain glucose and lactate levels, and to compare this effect with the metabolism of the noninjured sham-operated brain.

Methods. A diffuse severe TBI model developed by Foda and Maramarou, et al., in which a 420-g weight is dropped from a height of 2 m was used in this study. Forty-one male Wistar rats each weighing approximately 300 g were included. Anesthesized rats were monitored by placing a femoral arterial line for blood pressure and blood was drawn for a blood gas analysis. Two time periods were defined: Period A was defined as preinjury and Period B as postinjury. During Period B two levels of fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) were studied: air (FiO2 0.21) and oxygen (FiO2 1). Four groups were studied including sham-operated animals: air-air-sham (AAS); air-O2-sham (AOS); air-air-trauma (AAT); and air-O2-trauma (AOT). In six rats the effect of increasing the FiO2 on serum glucose and lactate was analyzed.

During Period B lactate values in the brain determined using microdialysis were significantly lower (p < 0.05) in the AOT group than in the AAT group and glucose values in the brain determined using microdialysis were significantly higher (p < 0.04). No differences were demonstrated in the other groups. Increasing the FiO2 had no significant effect on the serum levels of glucose and lactate.

Conclusions. Increasing the FiO2 influences dialysate glucose and lactate levels in injured brain tissue. Using an FiO2 of 1 influences brain metabolism in such a way that lactate is significantly reduced and glucose significantly increased. No changes in dialysate glucose and lactate values were found in the noninjured brain.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Michael Reinert M.D., Department of Neurosurgery, Inselspital Bern, University of Bern, 3010 Bern, Switzerland. email: michael.reinert@neurochirurgie-bern.ch.
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