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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2002 Mar;282(3):H832-41.

Regional cerebral blood flow in cats with cross-linked hemoglobin transfusion during focal cerebral ischemia.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


The beneficial effect of hemodilution on cerebral blood flow (CBF) during focal cerebral ischemia is mitigated by reduced arterial oxygen content (CaO2). In anesthetized cats subjected to permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion, the time course of regional CBF was evaluated after isovolemic exchange transfusion with either albumin or a tetrameric hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier. The transfusion started 30 min after arterial occlusion. We tested the hypothesis that bulk oxygen transport (CBF x CaO2) to ischemic tissue is increased by hemoglobin transfusion at a hematocrit of 18% compared with albumin-transfused cats at a hematocrit of 18% or control cats at a hematocrit of 30% and equivalent arterial pressure. In the nonischemic hemisphere, CBF increased selectively after albumin transfusion, and oxygen transport was similar among groups. In the ischemic cortex, albumin transfusion increased CBF, but oxygen transport was not increased above that of the control group. Hemoglobin transfusion increased both CBF and oxygen transport in the ischemic cortex above values in the control group, but the increase was delayed until 4 h of ischemia. Consequently, acute injury volume measured at 6 h of ischemia was not significantly attenuated. In contrast to the cortex, CBF in the ischemic caudate nucleus was not substantially increased by either albumin or hemoglobin transfusion. Therefore, in a large animal model of permanent focal ischemia in which transfusion starts 30 min after ischemia, tetrameric cross-linked hemoglobin transfusion can augment oxygen transport to the ischemic cortex, but the increase can be delayed and not necessarily provide protection. Moreover, an end-artery region such as the caudate nucleus is less likely to benefit from hemodilution.

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