Moderate hypothermia reduces postischemic edema development and leukotriene production

Neurosurgery. 1987 Aug;21(2):177-81. doi: 10.1227/00006123-198708000-00007.


Using the bilateral carotid artery occlusion model of cerebral ischemia in the gerbil, we studied the effect of moderate hypothermia (30 to 31 degrees C) on the postischemic production of prostanoids (cyclooxygenase pathway) and leukotrienes (lipoxygenase pathway) and accompanying changes in cerebral edema formation. Hypothermia capable of slowing central evoked potential conduction time was studied over the course of 40 minutes of cerebral ischemia and for up to 2 hours of reperfusion. The successful induction of cerebral ischemia was confirmed by somatosensory evoked potential amplitude changes. Measurements of 6-ketoprostaglandin F1 alpha (PGF1 alpha) and leukotriene B4 (LTB4) (radioimmunoassay) and cerebral edema (specific gravity) were made at early (10 minutes) and late (2 hours) reperfusion times. Although both white and gray matter showed no early significant difference in edema accumulation between normothermic and hypothermic gerbils at 10 minutes of reperfusion, hypothermic animals demonstrated significantly less white matter edema (specific gravity, 1.0397 +/- 0.0010 vs. 1.0341 +/- 0.0012, P less than 0.01) and gray matter edema (specific gravity, 1.0408 +/- 0.0009 vs. 1.0365 +/- 0.0008, P less than 0.01) by 2 hours of reperfusion. Production of PGF1 alpha was not significantly different between normothermic and hypothermic animals during the reperfusion period; however, hypothermic gerbils demonstrated significantly lower production of LTB4 at 10 minutes reperfusion time compared to normothermic animals (1.49 +/- 0.79 vs. 5.28 +/- 1.49 pg/mg of protein, P less than 0.05). This difference between the two groups in LTB4 levels was no longer detectable at 2 hours of reperfusion time.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Edema / etiology
  • Brain Edema / metabolism
  • Brain Edema / prevention & control*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory
  • Gerbillinae
  • Hypothermia / physiopathology*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / complications*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / metabolism
  • Leukotriene B4 / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Prostaglandins F / metabolism


  • Prostaglandins F
  • Leukotriene B4
  • prostaglandin F1