Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Anaesth. 2013 Jun;110 Suppl 1:i106-12. doi: 10.1093/bja/aes509. Epub 2013 Feb 7.

Argon reduces neurohistopathological damage and preserves functional recovery after cardiac arrest in rats.

Author information

Department of Surgical Intensive Care, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany.



Xenon has profound neuroprotective effects after neurological injury and is currently undergoing phase 2 clinical trials in cardiac arrest patients. However, xenon is very costly, which might preclude its widespread use. We hypothesized argon, which is more available, might also protect central nervous tissues and allow better functional recovery in a rodent model of global cerebral ischaemia.


Fourteen male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to 7 min of cardiac arrest and 3 min of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). One hour after successful CPR, animals were randomized to either ventilation with 70% argon in oxygen (n = 7) for 1 h or 70% nitrogen (controls, n=7). A neurological deficit score (NDS) was calculated daily for the following 7 days, then the animals were killed and the brains harvested for histopathological analyses.


All animals survived. Control rats had severe neurological dysfunction, while argon-treated animals showed significant improvements in the NDS at all time points. This was paralleled by a significant reduction in the neuronal damage index in the neocortex and the hippocampal CA 3/4 region.


Our study demonstrates that a single 1 h application of 70% argon significantly reduced histopathological damage of the neocortex and hippocampus, associated with a marked improvement in functional neurological recovery.


argon; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; hypoxia–ischaemia, brain

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center