Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Fr Anesth Reanim. 1994;13(1):111-22.

[Acid-base equilibrium and the brain].

[Article in French]

Author information

1
Département d'Anesthésia-Réanimation, Hôpital Saint-Roch, Nice.

Abstract

In physiological conditions, the regulation of acid-base balance in brain maintains a noteworthy stability of cerebral pH. During systemic metabolic acid-base imbalances cerebral pH is well controlled as the blood/brain barrier is slowly and poorly permeable to electrolytes (HCO3- and H+). Cerebral pH is regulated by a modulation of the respiratory drive, triggered by the early alterations of interstitial fluid pH, close to medullary chemoreceptors. As blood/brain barrier is highly permeable to Co2, CSF pH is corrected in a few hours, even in case of severe metabolic acidosis and alkalosis. Conversely, during ventilatory acidosis and alkalosis the cerebral pH varies in the same direction and in the same range than blood pH. Therefore, the brain is better protected against metabolic than ventilatory acid-base imbalances. Ventilatory acidosis and alkalosis are able to impair cerebral blood flow and brain activity through interstitial pH alterations. During respiratory acidosis, [HCO3-] increases in extracellular fluids to control cerebral pH by two main ways: a carbonic anhydrase activation at the blood/brain and blood/CSF barriers level and an increase in chloride shift in glial cells (HCO3- exchanged for Cl-). During respiratory alkalosis, [HCO3-] decreases in extracellular fluids by the opposite changes in HCO3- transport and by an increase in lactic acid synthesis by cerebral cells. The treatment of metabolic acidosis with bicarbonates may induce a cerebral acidosis and worsen a cerebral oedema during ketoacidosis. Moderate hypocapnia carried out to treat intracranial hypertension is mainly effective when cerebral blood flow is high and vascular CO2 reactivity maintained. Hypocapnia may restore an altered cerebral blood flow autoregulation. Instrumental hypocapnia requires a control of cerebral perfusion pressure and cerebral arteriovenous difference for oxygen, to select patients for whom this kind of treatment may be of benefit, to choose the optimal level of hypocapnia and to avoid any deleterious effect. If hypocapnia is maintained over several days, an adaptation of CSF pH may limit the therapeutic effect on the cerebral blood flow and the intracranial pressure.

PMID:
8092567
DOI:
10.1016/s0750-7658(94)80194-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center