Effect of lidocaine after experimental cerebral ischemia induced by air embolism

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✓ To investigate possible approaches to the treatment of neural damage induced by air embolism and other forms of acute cerebral ischemia, somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP's) were measured after cerebral air embolism in the anesthetized cat. Air was introduced into the carotid artery in increments of 0.08 ml until the SEP amplitude was reduced to approximately 10% or less of baseline values. Either a saline or lidocaine infusion was begun 5 minutes after inducing cerebral ischemia. In the saline-treated group, SEP amplitude was reduced to 6.7% ± 1.6% (mean ± standard error of the mean) of baseline, with a return to 32.6% ± 4.7% of baseline over a 2-hour period. In the lidocaine-treated group, SEP amplitude was reduced to 5.9% ± 1.5%, with a return to 77.3% ± 6.2% over a 2-hour period. The results suggest that lidocaine administration facilitates the return of neural function after acute cerebral ischemia induced by air embolism.

Article Information

Address reprint requests to: Delbert E. Evans, Ph.D., Diving Medicine Department, Naval Medical Research Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20814-5055.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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Figures

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    An example of the somatosensory evoked potential and the changes in amplitude produced by successive infusions of air into the common carotid artery. The first positive (P1), second positive (P2), and most negative (M-N) peaks are indicated. Time is given in minutes from the infusion of the first bolus of air. Percentages refer to the changes in P1 to M-N amplitude from baseline. “Air →” indicates each infusion of 0.08 ml of air.

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    Decrement and recovery of somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) amplitude in the lidocaine- and saline-treated (control) groups after 15 minutes of ischemia induced by cerebral air embolism. Amplitudes are expressed as percentages of baseline measurement. The period of ischemia and the time of infusion of lidocaine or saline are indicated at the bottom of the plot. The amplitudes of the lidocaine-treated group are offset slightly to the right to permit better visualization of overlapping values.

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