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Ann Emerg Med. 1989 Nov;18(11):1162-71.

Effects of various doses of sodium dichloroacetate on hyperlactatemia in fed ischemic rats.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Ohio 45267-0769.


In shock, the presence of hyperlactatemia is prognostic of a failure to survive. An experimental model of stroke that combines bilateral carotid ligation and bleeding to a mean arterial pressure of 50 mm Hg induces hyperlactatemia like that associated with tissue hypoperfusion of hemorrhagic shock. In previous nonsurvival studies with this model, post-ischemic treatment of fed rats with 25 mg/kg of sodium dichloroacetate (DCA) was effective in lowering brain tissue lactate but did not significantly affect the ischemia-induced increase in serum lactate measured after 30 minutes of ischemia followed by 30 minutes of reperfusion. Investigators using other animal models treated hyperlactatemia associated with tissue hypoperfusion successfully with a DCA dose of more than 25 mg/kg. Our goal was to determine the effect of a higher dose of DCA on serum lactate in the model of cerebral ischemia with systemic hypotension that we had used in previous studies. The previously unstudied dose-response also was evaluated in our study. Rats that had been fed ad libitum were assigned randomly to either a real or sham (control) ischemic group. Immediately after 30 minutes of ischemia and subsequent reinfusion of blood or after 30 minutes of sham ischemia, rats received DCA (0, 25, 50, 100, 200, or 300 mg/kg). Comparisons were made of blood values measured at the end of equilibration before ischemia, after 30 minutes of ischemia, and after 30 minutes of reperfusion. All ischemic rats were hyperlactatemic. Serum lactate levels were not correlated to blood glucose elevation during ischemia. After treatment in both control and ischemic rats, the percentage decrease in serum lactate varied as a logarithmic function of the DCA dose administered. Glucose levels and pH were not affected by DCA treatment at any dose. Because acidemia decreases lactate uptake by the liver, values for acidotic rats were compared with those for nonacidotic rats. Whereas lactate in acidotic rats decreased significantly only when treated with DCA, nonacidotic rats evidenced this decrease regardless of whether they received DCA. We discuss the relationship of these findings to the peak levels of lactate achieved, the resolution of hyperlactatemia, and factors that affect the interpretation of data in therapeutic studies using DCA.

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