The association of leukocytes with secondary brain injury

J Trauma. 1993 Sep;35(3):415-22. doi: 10.1097/00005373-199309000-00014.


Shock increases mortality from brain injuries, but the mechanism is poorly understood. We hypothesized that brain injury followed by shock and resuscitation leads to a secondary reperfusion injury mediated in part by polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs). To validate this hypothesis, we studied cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP), intracranial pressure (ICP), cerebral blood flow (CBF), cortical water content (CWC), and hemodynamic variables in a porcine model of focal cryogenic brain injury and hemorrhagic shock. Cerebral PMN accumulation (CPMN) in the injured and uninjured hemispheres was determined histologically from the total PMNs in five high-power fields (400x). Twenty-nine mature swine were randomized to four groups. Group 1, the control group, was instrumented only. Group 2 animals had a brain injury alone and were studied for 24 hours. Group 3 animals had a brain injury and hemorrhagic shock. Group 4 animals had hemorrhagic shock alone. Brain injury followed by shock caused a significantly greater ICP and a significantly lower CBF than brain injury or shock alone. There was no significant difference in CPP between groups after resuscitation. The CWC of the lesioned area was similar in both brain-injured groups but was significantly increased when compared with the controls and the shock-only group. The CWC of the nonlesioned hemisphere was higher in group 3 than in group 2. The CPMN in both hemispheres in group 3 was significantly greater than in either group 2 or group 4. There was a significant positive correlation between CPMN and both ICP and CWC, and a significant negative correlation between CPMN and CBF. These data suggest an association between CPMN accumulation and secondary brain injury.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Water / metabolism
  • Brain Injuries / complications
  • Brain Injuries / pathology*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation
  • Intracranial Pressure
  • Neutrophils / pathology*
  • Reperfusion Injury / pathology
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / complications
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / physiopathology
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / therapy
  • Swine