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Anesthesiology. 1996 Jun;84(6):1392-400.

Rapid rewarming causes an increase in the cerebral metabolic rate for oxygen that is temporarily unmatched by cerebral blood flow. A study during cardiopulmonary bypass in rabbits.

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Department of Anesthesia, University of Iowa, College of Medicine, Iowa City 52242, USA.



Jugular venous hemoglobin desaturation during the rewarming phase of cardiopulmonary bypass is associated with adverse neuropsychologic outcome and may indicate a pathologic mismatch between cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral metabolic rate for oxygen (CMRO2). In some studies, rapid rewarming from hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass results in greater jugular venous hemoglobin desaturation. The authors wished to determine if rewarming rate influences the temperature dependence of CBF and CMRO2.


Anesthetized New Zealand white rabbits, cooled to 25 degrees C on cardiopulmonary bypass, were randomized to one of two rewarming groups. In the fast group (n = 9), aortic blood temperature was made normothermic within 4 min. In the slow group (n = 9), aortic blood temperature was made normothermic over 25 min. Cerebral blood flow (microspheres) and CMRO2 (Fick) were determined at baseline (25 degrees C), and at brain temperatures of 28 degrees, 31 degrees, 34 degrees, and 37 degrees C during rewarming.


Systemic physiologic variables appeared similar between groups. At a brain temperature of 28 degrees C, CMRO2 was 47% greater in the fast rewarming group than in the slow group (2.2 +/- 0.5 vs. 1.5 +/- 0.2 ml O2.100 g-1. min-1, respectively; P = 0.01), whereas CBF did not differ (48 +/- 18 vs. 49 +/- 8 ml.100 g-1.min-1, respectively; P = 0.47). Throughout rewarming, CBF increased as a function of brain temperature but was indistinguishable between groups. Cerebral metabolic rate for oxygen differences between groups decreased as brain temperatures increased.


Cerebral venous hemoglobin desaturation with rapid rewarming is caused by an increase in CMRO2 that is temporarily greater than the increase in CBF. This mismatch may indicate a transient abnormality in flow-metabolism coupling, or the effect of temperature gradients on oxygen transfer from hemoglobin to brain.

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