OBJECTIVES: Fundamental questions remain about the precise temperature providing optimal neuroprotection after perinatal hypoxia-ischemia (HI). Furthermore, if hypothermia delays the onset of the neurotoxic cascade and the secondary impairment in cerebral energy generation, the "latent phase" may be prolonged, thus extending the period when additional treatments may be effective. The aims of this study were to investigate the effects of delayed systemic cooling at either 33 degrees C or 35 degrees C on the following: (1) latent-phase duration, and (2) cerebral metabolism during secondary energy failure itself, in the 48-hour period after transient HI.
METHODS: Piglets were randomly assigned to the following: (1) HI-normothermic (HI-n) rectal temperature (Trectal; n = 12), (2) HI-Trectal 35 degrees C (HI-35; n = 7), and (3) HI-Trectal 33 degrees C (HI-33; n = 10). Groups were cooled to the target Trectal between 2 and 26 hours after HI. Serial magnetic resonance spectroscopy was performed over 48 hours. The effect of cooling on secondary energy failure severity (indexed by the nucleotide triphosphate/exchangeable phosphate pool [NTP/EPP] and phosphocreatine/inorganic phosphate [PCr/Pi] ratios) was assessed.
RESULTS: Compared with HI-n, HI-35 and HI-33 had a longer NTP/EPP latent phase and during the entire study duration had higher mean NTP/EPP and PCr/Pi. The latent phase (both PCr/Pi and NTP/EPP) and the whole-brain cerebral energetics were similar for HI-35 and HI-33. During the hypothermic period, compared with HI-n, PCr/Pi was preserved in the cooled groups, but this advantage was not maintained after rewarming. Compared with HI-n, HI-35 and HI-33 had higher NTP/EPP after rewarming.
CONCLUSIONS: Whole-body hypothermia for 24 hours at either 35 or 33 degrees C, commenced 2 hours after resuscitation, prolonged the NTP/EPP latent phase and reduced the overall secondary falls in mean PCr/Pi and NTP/EPP during 48 hours after HI. Reducing the temperature from 35 to 33 degrees C neither increased mean PCr/Pi and NTP/EPP nor further lengthened the latent phase.
- Animals, Newborn
- Energy Metabolism
- Hypothermia, Induced
- Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain/metabolism
- Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy