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Anesth Analg. 2007 Nov;105(5):1397-403, table of contents.

Tight glycemic control by insulin, started in the preischemic, but not postischemic, period, protects against ischemic spinal cord injury in rabbits.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine, Ube, Yamaguchi, Japan.



It is not well established whether insulin protects against ischemic spinal cord injury. We examined the effects of a single dose of insulin that corrects mild hyperglycemia on the outcome after transient spinal cord ischemia in rabbits.


We assigned rabbits to four groups (n = 8 in each); untreated control (C) group, preischemic insulin (Pre-I) group, preischemic insulin with glucose (GI) group (glucose concentrations were maintained at levels similar to the C group by the administration of glucose), and postischemic insulin (Post-I) group. Insulin (0.5 IU/kg) was administered 30 min before ischemia in the Pre-I and GI groups, and just after reperfusion in the Post-I group. Spinal cord ischemia was produced by occluding the abdominal aorta for 13 min. Neurologic and histopathologic evaluations were performed 7 days after ischemia.


The mean blood glucose concentration before ischemia in the Pre-I group (118 mg/dL) was significantly lower than in the other three groups (158-180 mg/dL) and those of 30 min after reperfusion in the Pre-I (92 mg/dL) and Post-I (100 mg/dL) groups were significantly lower than in the C (148 mg/dL) and GI (140 mg/dL) groups. The motor function score and number of normal neurons in the anterior lumbar spinal cord in the Pre-I group were significantly greater than in the other three groups.


These results suggest that a relatively small dose of preischemic insulin protects against ischemic spinal cord injury, and that the protective effects result from tight glycemic control before ischemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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