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Shock. 2012 Jul;38(1):49-56. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0b013e3182574778.

Traumatic brain injury and hemorrhagic shock: evaluation of different resuscitation strategies in a large animal model of combined insults.

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  • 1Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and hemorrhagic shock (HS) are the leading causes of trauma-related mortality and morbidity. Combination of TBI and HS (TBI + HS) is highly lethal, and the optimal resuscitation strategy for this combined insult remains unclear. A critical limitation is the lack of suitable large animal models to test different treatment strategies. We have developed a clinically relevant large animal model of TBI + HS, which was used to evaluate the impact of different treatments on brain lesion size and associated edema. Yorkshire swine (42-50 kg) were instrumented to measure hemodynamic parameters and intracranial pressure. A computer-controlled cortical impact device was used to create a TBI through a 20-mm craniotomy: 15-mm cylindrical tip impactor at 4 m/s velocity, 100-ms dwell time, and 12-mm penetration depth. Volume-controlled hemorrhage was started (40% blood volume) concurrent with the TBI. After 2 h of shock, animals were randomized to one of three resuscitation groups (n = 5/group): (a) normal saline (NS); (b) 6% hetastarch, Hextend (Hex); and (c) fresh frozen plasma (FFP). Volumes of Hex and FFP matched the shed blood, whereas NS was three times the volume. After 6 h of postresuscitation monitoring, brains were sectioned into 5-mm slices and stained with TTC (2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride) to quantify the lesion size and brain swelling. Combination of 40% blood loss with cortical impact and a period of shock (2 h) resulted in a highly reproducible brain injury. Total fluid requirements were lower in the Hex and FFP groups. Lesion size and brain swelling in the FFP group (2,160 ± 202.63 mm and 22% ± 1.0%, respectively) were significantly smaller than those in the NS group (3,285 ± 130.8 mm3 and 37% ± 1.6%, respectively) (P < 0.05). Hex treatment decreased the swelling (29% ± 1.6%) without reducing the lesion size. Early administration of FFP reduces the size of brain lesion and associated swelling in a large animal model of TBI + HS. In contrast, artificial colloid (Hex) decreases swelling without reducing the actual size of the brain lesion.

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