Noninvasive assessment of brain injury in a canine model of hypothermic circulatory arrest using magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

Mark McIntosh,'s picture
PubMed URL:
Baumgartner WA
Author List: 
Barreiro CJ
Williams JA
Fitton TP
Lange MS
Blue ME
Kratz L
Barker PB
Degaonkar M
Gott VL
Troncoso JC
Johnston MV
Baumgartner WA
Ann Thorac Surg
PubMed ID: 
Studies have confirmed the neuroprotective effect of diazoxide in canines undergoing hypothermic circulatory arrest (HCA). A decreased N-acetyl-asparate:choline (NAA:Cho) ratio is believed to reflect the severity of neurologic injury. We demonstrated that noninvasive measurement of NAA:Cho with magnetic resonance spectroscopy facilitates assessment of neuronal injury after HCA and allows for evaluation of neuroprotective strategies.Canines underwent 2 hours of HCA at 18 degrees C and were observed for 24 hours. Animals were divided into three groups (n = 15 in each group): normal (unoperated), HCA (HCA only), and HCA+diazoxide (pharmacologic treatment before HCA). The NAA:Cho ratios were obtained 24 hours after HCA by spectroscopy. Brains were immediately harvested for fresh tissue NAA quantification by mass spectrometry. Separate cohorts of HCA (n = 16) and HCA+diazoxide (n = 23) animals were kept alive for 72 hours for daily neurologic assessment.Cortical NAA:Cho ratios were significantly decreased in HCA versus normal animals (1.01 +/- 0.29 versus 1.31 +/- 0.23; p = 0.004), consistent with severe neurologic injury. Diazoxide pretreatment limited neurologic injury versus HCA alone, reflected in a preserved NAA:Cho ratio (1.21 +/- 0.27 versus 1.01 +/- 0.29; p = 0.05). Data were substantiated with fresh tissue NAA extraction. A significant decrease in cortical NAA was observed in HCA versus normal (7.07 +/- 1.9 versus 8.54 +/- 2.1 micromol/g; p = 0.05), with maintenance of normal NAA levels after diazoxide pretreatment (9.49 +/- 1.1 versus 7.07 +/- 1.9 micromol/g; p = 0.0002). Clinical neurologic scores were significantly improved in the HCA+diazoxide group versus HCA at all time points.Neurologic injury remains a significant complication of cardiac surgery and is most severe after HCA. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy assessment of NAA:Cho ratios offers an early, noninvasive means of potentially evaluating neurologic injury and the effect of neuroprotective agents.
Published Date: 
May, 2006

Bradley L. Schlaggar, M.D., Ph.D., Named President and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute

We’re thrilled to welcome Bradley L. Schlaggar, M.D., Ph.D., to the Kennedy Krieger family as our next President and CEO.

Learn more.

Appointments & Referrals



Read inspiring stories, news and updates about the Institute's patient care, research, special education, professional training, and community programs.


Resource Finder


A free resource that provides access to information and support for individuals and families living with developmental disabilities.