Effects of Hypertonic Saline and Sodium Lactate on Cortical Cerebral Microcirculation and Brain Tissue Oxygenation

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Hyperosmolar solutions have been used in neurosurgery to modify brain bulk. The aim of this animal study was to compare the short-term effects of equivolemic, equiosmolar solutions of hypertonic saline (HTS) and sodium lactate (HTL) on cerebral cortical microcirculation and brain tissue oxygenation in a rabbit craniotomy model.


Rabbits (weight, 1.5 to 2.0 kg) were anesthetized, ventilated mechanically, and subjected to a craniotomy. The animals were allocated randomly to receive a 3.75 mL/kg intravenous infusion of either 3.2% HTS (group HTS, n=9), half-molar sodium lactate (group HTL, n=10), or normal saline (group C, n=9). Brain tissue partial pressure of oxygen (PbtO2) and microcirculation in the cerebral cortex using sidestream dark-field imaging were evaluated before, 20 and 40 minutes after 15 minutes of hyperosmolar solution infusion. Global hemodynamic data were recorded, and blood samples for laboratory analysis were obtained at the time of sidestream dark-field image recording.


No differences in the microcirculatory parameters were observed between the groups before and after the use of osmotherapy. Brain tissue oxygen deteriorated over time in groups C and HTL, this deterioration was not significant in the group HTS.


Our findings suggest that equivolemic, equiosmolar HTS and HTL solutions equally preserve perfusion of cortical brain microcirculation in a rabbit craniotomy model. The use of HTS was better in preventing the worsening of brain tissue oxygen tension.

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