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J Neurosurg. 1981 Nov;55(5):708-17.

Changes in extracellular potassium concentration in cortex and brain stem during the acute phase of experimental closed head injury.

Abstract

A high potassium concentration ([K+]o) in brain tissue impedes neuronal activity, as observed in spreading cortical depression. Experimental studies were performed on mice and rats to determine the role of changes of [K+]o in cerebral concussion. In the first experiment, a 600 gm-cm impact was delivered to the vertex of the mouse skull. This impact induced arrest of spontaneous movement for 465 +/- 55.9 seconds (mean +/- SD), accompanied by apnea, bradycardia, and low-voltage electroencephalographic recordings (EEG). The injury was also frequently followed immediately by epilepsy. This impact induced an increase of cortical [K+]o from the control level of 4.1 +/- 1.8 mM to 20-30 mM, with gradual recovery within 30 minutes to the control level. In the second experiment, an impact of 9000 gm-cm was delivered to the midline parieto-occipital area of the rat and produced concussion-like phenomena similar to those elicited in mice. This level of trauma induced a significant increase of cortical [K+]o from the control level of 4.2 +/- 0.8 mM to 20-50 mM in all of the rats, and also a significant increase of brain-stem [K+]o from 3.9 +/- 0.6 to 20-30 mM in 73% of the rats. In these latter rats, the impact also induced apnea and a transient elevation of blood pressure, and resulted in low-voltage EEG recordings. In 23% of the rats in which [K+]o changes in the brain stem were not significant, the impact caused a transient reduction of blood pressure. The present study disclosed that an increase of [K+]o in the cerebral cortex and also in the brain stem is an important element in the phenomenon of concussion.

PMID:
7310492
DOI:
10.3171/jns.1981.55.5.0708
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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