We describe a method of focal cooling of the head and its effects on hypoxic-ischemic cerebral damage in neonatal rat. Focal cooling of the head was obtained by positioning a catheter under the scalp ipsilateral to the ligated common carotid artery and by running cold water through the catheter during 2 h of systemic hypoxia. Hypoxia was produced in neonatal rats by breathing 8% oxygen for 2 h in a 37°C chamber. Animals underwent focal cooling with ipsilateral scalp temperatures ranging from 22°C to 35°C. Temperature recordings from the ipsilateral scalp, cerebral hemisphere (dorsal hippocampus) and core (rectal) were obtained. The results suggest that the method is effective in cooling of brain and also to a lesser extent in lowering of the core temperature. At a mean scalp temperature of 28°C, mean hippocampal temperature in hypoxic rat was 29.5°C and mean core temperature in hypoxic rat was 32.8°C. At a lower scalp temperature of 22°C, mean hippocampal temperature in hypoxic rat was 24.7°C and mean core temperature was 31.3°C. Neuropathologic examination 3-4 days following hypoxia-ischemia showed that focal cooling with a scalp temperature of lower than 28°C completely protected from brain damage, and that there was a trend towards greater damage with higher scalp temperatures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience