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The impact of various flows for selective cerebral perfusion (SCP) on cerebral oxidative stress in the immature brain is unknown. We examined early changes in cerebral markers of oxidative damage, apoptotic protein activation and histological outcome after different flows for SCP in a piglet model of deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA).Twenty piglets, randomly divided into four groups (each n = 5), were placed on cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) at 20 °C, then underwent DHCA for 60 minutes. SCP was conducted at flow rates of 0, 25, 50 and 80 ml·kg-1·min-1 through the innominate artery in the DHCA, SCP 25, SCP 50, and SCP 80 groups, respectively. The animals were killed at 2 hours off CPB. Brain tissues were examined for the activity of SOD, MDA and caspase-3, and histological damage was quantitatively assayed by light microscopic examinations.There were no significant differences in the activities of SOD, MDA and the SOD/MDA index between the groups. Caspase-3 activity significantly decreased in the SCP 25, SCP 50 and SCP 80 groups compared with the DHCA group. However, the caspase-3 level was higher in the SCP 80 group than in the SCP 25 and SCP 50 group. There were no significant correlations between MDA, SOD, SOD/MDA index and caspase-3.In this acute model, under different flows for SCP, cerebral MDA and SOD activities show no change, whereas activated caspase-3 has a marked change. There was no relationship between oxidative stress, indicated by MDA and SOD, and apoptotic protein activation in the early phase after DHCA.