Cerebral metabolic recovery from deep hypothermic circulatory arrest after treatment with arginine and nitro-arginine methyl ester

T. Hiramatsu, R. A. Jonas, T. Miura, A. duPlessis, M. Tanji, J. M. Forbess, D. Holtzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Recent studies suggest that nitric oxide is important in the pathogenesis of ischemic brain injury and also has a role in controlling cerebrovascular tone. This study examines the net effects of nitric oxide on cerebral metabolic recovery after deep hypothermic circulatory arrest. Methods: Two-week-old piglets were supported by cardiopulmonary bypass and cooled to 15°C followed by 1 hour of deep hypothermic circulatory arrest, 45 minutes of reperfusion and rewarming, and then 3 hours of normothermic perfusion. Groups of 10 piglets received one of four treatments before bypass: L-nitro-arginine methyl ester, inhibitor of nitric oxide synthesis, 10 mg/kg intravenously; L-arginine, to enhance nitric oxide synthesis, 30 mg/kg intravenously before bypass and then 10 mg/kg per minute during the first hour of reperfusion; a combination of L-nitro-arginine methyl ester plus L-arginine at these same doses; and no pretreatment (controls). Cerebral high-energy phosphates and pH were measured by magnetic resonance spectroscopy in half the animals. Cerebral blood flow, metabolic rates fur oxygen and glucose, and the oxidation/reduction state of cytochrome aa3 and oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin measured by near-infrared spectroscopy were assessed in the other half of the piglets. Results: L-nitro-arginine methyl ester significantly increased cerebral vascular resistance and markedly reduced recovery of high-energy phosphates, pH, and oxidation state of cytochrome aa3. L-arginine increased cerebral blood flow, cerebral glucose and oxygen consumption, and recovery of cytochrome aa3 oxidation and high- energy phosphates. L-Arginine did not reverse completely the effects of L- nitro-arginine methyl ester on cerebral metabolic recovery. Conclusion: In a piglet model of deep hypothermic circulatory arrest, L-nitro-arginine methyl ester has a deleterious effect and L-arginine has a beneficial effect on cerebral metabolic recovery. The deleterious metabolic effects of L-nitro- arginine methyl ester are only partially reversed by L-arginine. This fact suggests that there may be mechanisms in addition to inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis contributing to the neurotoxicity of L-nitro-arginine methyl ester in this model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)698-707
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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