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Anesthesiology and Pain Management

Influence of a Brief Episode of Anesthesia during the Induction of Experimental Brain Trauma on Secondary Brain Damage and Inflammation
Published: Thursday, May 19, 2011
Author: Clara Luh et al.

by Clara Luh, Katharina Gierth, Ralph Timaru-Kast, Kristin Engelhard, Christian Werner, Serge C. Thal

It is unclear whether a single, brief, 15-minute episode of background anesthesia already modulates delayed secondary processes after experimental brain injury. Therefore, this study was designed to characterize three anesthesia protocols for their effect on molecular and histological study endpoints. Mice were randomly separated into groups that received sevoflurane (sevo), isoflurane (iso) or an intraperitoneal anesthetic combination (midazolam, fentanyl and medetomidine; comb) prior to traumatic brain injury (controlled cortical impact, CCI; 8 m/s, 1 mm impact depth, 3 mm diameter). Twenty-four hours after insult, histological brain damage, neurological function (via neurological severity score), cerebral inflammation (via real-time RT-PCR for IL6, COX-2, iNOS) and microglia (via immunohistochemical staining for Iba1) were determined. Fifteen minutes after CCI, the brain contusion volume did not differ between the anesthetic regimens (sevo?=?17.9±5.5 mm3; iso?=?20.5±3.7 mm3; comb?=?19.5±4.6 mm3). Within 24 hours after injury, lesion size increased in all groups (sevo?=?45.3±9.0 mm3; iso?=?31.5±4.0 mm3; comb?=?44.2±6.2 mm3). Sevo and comb anesthesia resulted in a significantly larger contusion compared to iso, which was in line with the significantly better neurological function with iso (sevo?=?4.6±1.3 pts.; iso?=?3.9±0.8 pts.; comb?=?5.1±1.6 pts.). The expression of inflammatory marker genes was not significantly different at 15 minutes and 24 hours after CCI. In contrast, significantly more Iba1-positive cells were present in the pericontusional region after sevo compared to comb anesthesia (sevo?=?181±48/mm3; iso?=?150±36/mm3; comb?=?113±40/mm3). A brief episode of anesthesia, which is sufficient for surgical preparations of mice for procedures such as delivering traumatic brain injury, already has a significant impact on the extent of secondary brain damage.