BACKGROUND: Resuscitation with hypertonic saline or hypertonic saline plus l-arginine acutely improves cerebral blood flow after traumatic brain injury (TBI) followed by hemorrhagic hypotension. The authors investigated whether hypertonic saline or hypertonic l-arginine would improve long-term neuronal survival and behavioral outcomes 15 days after TBI and hemorrhagic hypotension. METHODS: Mean arterial pressure, arterial blood gases, pH, plasma glucose, hematocrit, and hemoglobin were measured in male Sprague-Dawley rats before and after moderate (2.0 atm) fluid percussion TBI. Rats were assigned to one of six groups: (1) sham TBI, (2) hemorrhage only, (3) TBI only, (4) TBI plus hemorrhage and resuscitation with 0.9% saline, (5) TBI plus hemorrhage and resuscitation with hypertonic saline (7.5%), or (6) TBI plus hemorrhage and resuscitation with l-arginine (100 mg/kg) in hypertonic saline. On postinjury days 1-5, vestibulomotor function was assessed using beam balance and beam walking tasks. On postinjury days 11-15, spatial memory function was assessed using the Morris water maze. After behavioral testing, neuronal counting was performed bilaterally on specific hippocampal regions. RESULTS: Groups receiving hypertonic saline (P < 0.05, day 15 vs. day 11) or hypertonic l-arginine (P < 0.05, days 13-15 vs. day 11) showed improved performance over time on the Morris water maze, as well as significantly improved neuronal survival in the contralateral hippocampus (P < 0.05, hypertonic saline or hypertonic l-arginine vs. normal saline) compared with untreated TBI or normal saline-treated TBI plus hemorrhage groups. CONCLUSIONS: Hypertonic saline and hypertonic l-arginine were both effective at promoting long-term neuronal survival and behavioral recovery. The slightly earlier improvement in Morris water maze performance in the hypertonic l-arginine group warrants further studies to determine whether higher doses of l-arginine provide additional improvement. This study supports the therapeutic benefits of hypertonic resuscitation after TBI plus hemorrhagic hypotension.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine