Neonatal ischemic neuroprotection by modest hypothermia is associated with attenuated brain acidosis

Abbot R. Laptook, Ron J T Corbett, Dennis Burns, Rick Sterett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


A 2.9 degrees C reduction in the intraischemic rectal temperature of neonatal piglets is associated with less brain damage compared with animals with normothermic rectal temperatures. This investigation studied one potential mechanism for this observation: better maintenance of energy stores and less brain acidosis secondary to reduced metabolic activity associated with modest hypothermia. Methods31 P MR spectroscopy was used to study piglets before, during, and after 15 minutes of partial brain ischemia with intraischemic rectal temperatures of either 38.3 plus minus 0.4 degrees C (n equals 10, normothermic) or 35.4 plus minus 0.5 degrees C (n equals 10, hypothermic). Animals were followed up for up to 72 hours after ischemia and were evaluated clinically and by brain histology. Results Values for pHi remained 0.15 to 0.20 pH units greater in modestly hypothermic than in normothermic piglets during ischemia and the initial 30 minutes after ischemia (P equals.049, group effect). Phosphocreatine, beta-ATP, and inorganic phosphorus were similar between groups. The relationship between the intraischemic energy state and subsequent clinical evidence of brain damage (irrespective of group assignment) revealed lower pHi over the last 7 minutes of ischemia for abnormal compared with normal piglets (5.98 plus minus 0.22 versus 6.39 plus minus 0.24, respectively; P equals.002). In contrast, intraischemic beta-ATP (41 plus minus 19% versus 57 plus minus 21% of control) and inorganic phosphorus (273 plus minus 31% versus 224 plus minus 92% of control) for abnormal and normal piglets, respectively, did not differ between groups. Conclusions Intraischemic modest hypothermia attenuates the severity of brain acidosis during and 30 minutes after ischemia compared with normothermic animals and supports the concept that attenuated brain acidosis is a potential mechanism by which hypothermia may reduce ischemic brain damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1240-1246
Number of pages7
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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