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1.  Levosimendan limits reperfusion injury in a rat middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model 
BMC Neurology  2013;13:106.
Background
Neuroprotective strategies in ischemic stroke are an important challenge in clinical and experimental research as an adjunct to reperfusion therapy that may reduce neurologic injury and improve outcome. The neuroprotective properties of levosimendan in traumatic brain injury in vitro, transient global brain ischemia and focal spinal cord ischemia suggest the potential for similar effects in transient brain ischemia.
Methods
Transient brain ischemia was induced for 60 min by intraluminal occlusion of the middle cerebral artery in 40 male Wistar rats under general anesthesia with s-ketamine and xylazine and with continuous monitoring of their blood pressure and cerebral perfusion. Five minutes before inducing reperfusion, a levosimendan bolus (24 μg kg -1) was administered over a 20 minute period. Infarct size, brain swelling, neurological function and the expression of inflammatory markers were quantified 24 hours after reperfusion.
Results
Although levosimendan limited the infarct size and brain swelling by 40% and 53%, respectively, no effect on neurological outcome or mortality could be demonstrated. Upregulation of tumor necrosis factor α and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 was significantly impeded. Cerebral blood flow during reperfusion was significantly reduced as a consequence of sustained autoregulation.
Conclusions
Levosimendan demonstrated significant neuroprotective properties in a rat model of transient brain ischemia by reducing reperfusion injury.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-13-106
PMCID: PMC3750823  PMID: 23937651
Experimental stroke; Postconditioning; Levosimendan; Cerebral reperfusion injury
2.  Accuracy of the Masimo Pronto-7® system in patients with left ventricular assist device 
Background
The Masimo Pronto-7® calculates hemoglobin (Hb) values using the pulsoximetry technique and a variety of mathematical algorithms analyzing the pulse waveform. Although this system has demonstrated a high level of accuracy in average patients, the performance might be altered in special patient populations. Regarding patients with left ventricular cardiac failure, a rotary blood pump generates a constant, continuous, non-pulsatile flow to improve effective cardiac output. Due to this alteration in both, blood flow and arterial blood pressure we hypothesized a reduced accuracy of the Masimo Pronto-7® to detect Hb in patients with left ventricular cardiac failure. To test our hypothesis, we evaluated the Pronto-7®SpHb system in outpatients after continuous-flow-left ventricular assist device (cf-LVAD) implantation (HeartMate II, Thoratec).
Methods
21 cf-LVAD outpatients from the Clinic for Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery were investigated during routine follow up examinations. After venous blood samples were drawn, the Pronto-7® sensor was attached to one randomly selected finger of one hand. The collected SpHb data were compared with Hb values measured by our central laboratory. The difference between the methods was determined using Bland – Altman analysis. The study was registered in the DRKS (DRKS00004415).
Results
In all cf-LVAD patients evaluated, the Pronto-7® successfully detected SpHb values. Using Bland – Altman analysis, a bias of 0.14 g/dl (95% upper and lower limits of agreement ± 2.76 g/dl) was calculated.
Conclusion
The Pronto-7® overestimated the actual Hb value in cf-LVAD outpatients with the HeartMate II. Due to this, we conclude that the system is suitable for screening in routine examinations and further analysis can be performed if needed. However, its use as an emergency tool is questionable because of the increased inaccuracy when Hb values are critically low.
doi:10.1186/1749-8090-8-159
PMCID: PMC3776432  PMID: 23800231
Perioperative care; Circulatory assist devices; Blood transfusion; Emergency; Patient safety
3.  The effects of levosimendan on brain metabolism during initial recovery from global transient ischaemia/hypoxia 
BMC Neurology  2012;12:81.
Backround
Neuroprotective strategies after cardiopulmonary resuscitation are currently the focus of experimental and clinical research. Levosimendan has been proposed as a promising drug candidate because of its cardioprotective properties, improved haemodynamic effects in vivo and reduced traumatic brain injury in vitro. The effects of levosimendan on brain metabolism during and after ischaemia/hypoxia are unknown.
Methods
Transient cerebral ischaemia/hypoxia was induced in 30 male Wistar rats by bilateral common carotid artery clamping for 15 min and concomitant ventilation with 6% O2 during general anaesthesia with urethane. After 10 min of global ischaemia/hypoxia, the rats were treated with an i.v. bolus of 24 μg kg-1 levosimendan followed by a continuous infusion of 0.2 μg kg-1 min-1. The changes in the energy-related metabolites lactate, the lactate/pyruvate ratio, glucose and glutamate were monitored by microdialysis. In addition, the effects on global haemodynamics, cerebral perfusion and autoregulation, oedema and expression of proinflammatory genes in the neocortex were assessed.
Results
Levosimendan reduced blood pressure during initial reperfusion (72 ± 14 vs. 109 ± 2 mmHg, p = 0.03) and delayed flow maximum by 5 minutes (p = 0.002). Whereas no effects on time course of lactate, glucose, pyruvate and glutamate concentrations in the dialysate could be observed, the lactate/pyruvate ratio during initial reperfusion (144 ± 31 vs. 77 ± 8, p = 0.017) and the glutamate release during 90 minutes of reperfusion (75 ± 19 vs. 24 ± 28 μmol·L-1) were higher in the levosimendan group. The increased expression of IL-6, IL-1ß TNFα and ICAM-1, extend of cerebral edema and cerebral autoregulation was not influenced by levosimendan.
Conclusion
Although levosimendan has neuroprotective actions in vitro and on the spinal cord in vivo and has been shown to cross the blood–brain barrier, the present results showed that levosimendan did not reduce the initial neuronal injury after transient ischaemia/hypoxia.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-12-81
PMCID: PMC3492141  PMID: 22920500
Levosimendan; Cerebral ischaemia; Hypoxia; Microdialysis
4.  Does a 4 diagram manual enable laypersons to operate the laryngeal mask supreme®? A pilot study in the manikin 
Background
Bystander resuscitation plays an important role in lifesaving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). A significant reduction in the "no-flow-time", quantitatively better chest compressions and an improved quality of ventilation can be demonstrated during CPR using supraglottic airway devices (SADs). Previous studies have demonstrated the ability of inexperienced persons to operate SADs after brief instruction. The aim of this pilot study was to determine whether an instruction manual consisting of four diagrams enables laypersons to operate a Laryngeal Mask Supreme® (LMAS) in the manikin.
Methods
An instruction manual of four illustrations with speech bubbles displaying the correct use of the LMAS was designed. Laypersons were handed a bag containing a LMAS, a bag mask valve device (BMV), a syringe prefilled with air and the instruction sheet, and were asked to perform and ventilate the manikin as displayed. Time to ventilation was recorded and degree of success evaluated.
Results
A total of 150 laypersons took part. Overall 145 participants (96.7%) inserted the LMAS in the manikin in the right direction. The device was inserted inverted or twisted in 13 (8.7%) attempts. Eight (5.3%) individuals recognized this and corrected the position. Within the first 2 minutes 119 (79.3%) applicants were able to insert the LMAS and provide tidal volumes greater than 150 ml (estimated dead space). Time to insertion and first ventilation was 83.2 ± 29 s. No significant difference related to previous BLS training (P = 0.85), technical education (P = 0.07) or gender could be demonstrated (P = 0.25).
Conclusion
In manikin laypersons could insert LMAS in the correct direction after onsite instruction by a simple manual with a high success rate. This indicates some basic procedural understanding and intellectual transfer in principle. Operating errors (n = 91) were frequently not recognized and corrected (n = 77). Improvements in labeling and the quality of instructional photographs may reduce individual error and may optimize understanding.
doi:10.1186/1757-7241-20-21
PMCID: PMC3375204  PMID: 22453060
5.  Laypersons can successfully place supraglottic airways with 3 minutes of training. A comparison of four different devices in the manikin 
Introduction
Supraglottic airway devices have frequently been shown to facilitate airway management and are implemented in the ILCOR resuscitation algorithm. Limited data exists concerning laypersons without any medical or paramedical background. We hypothesized that even laymen would be able to operate supraglottic airway devices after a brief training session.
Methods
Four different supraglottic airway devices: Laryngeal Mask Classic (LMA), Laryngeal Tube (LT), Intubating Laryngeal Mask (FT) and CobraPLA (Cobra) were tested in 141 volunteers recruited in a technical university cafeteria and in a shopping mall. All volunteers received a brief standardized training session. Primary endpoint was the time required to definitive insertion. In a short questionnaire applicants were asked to assess the devices and to answer some general questions about BLS.
Results
The longest time to insertion was observed for Cobra (31.9 ± 27.9 s, range: 9-120, p < 0.0001; all means ± standard deviation). There was no significant difference between the insertion times of the other three devices. Fewest insertion attempts were needed for the FT (1.07 ± 0.26), followed by the LMA (1.23 ± 0.52, p > 0.05), the LT (1.36 ± 0.61, p < 0.05) and the Cobra (1.45 ± 0.7, p < 0.0001). Ventilation was achieved on the first attempt significantly more often with the FT (p < 0.001) compared to the other devices. Nearly 90% of the participants were in favor of implementing supraglottic airway devices in first aid algorithms and classes.
Conclusion
Laypersons are able to operate supraglottic airway devices in manikin with minimal instruction. Ventilation was achieved with all devices tested after a reasonable time and with a high success rate of > 95%. The use of supraglottic airway devices in first aid and BLS algorithms should be considered.
doi:10.1186/1757-7241-19-60
PMCID: PMC3213203  PMID: 22024311
6.  The use of the Airtraq® optical laryngoscope for routine tracheal intubation in high-risk cardio-surgical patients 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:425.
Background
The Airtraq® optical laryngoscope (Prodol Ltd., Vizcaya, Spain) is a novel disposable device facilitating tracheal intubation in routine and difficult airway patients. No data investigating routine tracheal intubation using the Airtaq® in patients at a high cardiac risk are available at present. Purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility and hemodynamic implications of tracheal intubation with the Aitraq® optical laryngoscope, in high-risk cardio-surgical patients.
Methods
123 consecutive ASA III patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting were routinely intubated with the Airtraq® laryngoscope. Induction of anesthesia was standardized according to our institutional protocol. All tracheal intubations were performed by six anesthetists trained in the use of the Airtraq® prior.
Results
Overall success rate was 100% (n = 123). All but five patients trachea could be intubated in the first attempt (95,9%). 5 patients were intubated in a 2nd (n = 4) or 3rd (n = 1) attempt. Mean intubation time was 24.3 s (range 16-128 s). Heart rate, arterial blood pressure and SpO2 were not significantly altered. Minor complications were observed in 6 patients (4,8%), i.e. two lesions of the lips and four minor superficial mucosal bleedings. Intubation duration (p = 0.62) and number of attempts (p = 0.26) were independent from BMI and Mallampati score.
Conclusion
Tracheal intubation with the Airtraq® optical laryngoscope was feasible, save and easy to perform in high-risk patients undergoing cardiac surgery. In all patients, a sufficient view on the vocal cords could be obtained, independent from BMI and preoperative Mallampati score.
Trial Registration
DRKS 00003230
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-425
PMCID: PMC3213174  PMID: 22011403
7.  Short term non-invasive ventilation post-surgery improves arterial blood-gases in obese subjects compared to supplemental oxygen delivery - a randomized controlled trial 
BMC Anesthesiology  2011;11:10.
Background
In the immediate postoperative period, obese patients are more likely to exhibit hypoxaemia due to atelectasis and impaired respiratory mechanics, changes which can be attenuated by non-invasive ventilation (NIV). The aim of the study was to evaluate the duration of any effects of early initiation of short term pressure support NIV vs. traditional oxygen delivery via venturi mask in obese patients during their stay in the PACU.
Methods
After ethics committee approval and informed consent, we prospectively studied 60 obese patients (BMI 30-45) undergoing minor peripheral surgery. Half were randomly assigned to receive short term NIV during their PACU stay, while the others received routine treatment (supplemental oxygen via venturi mask). Premedication, general anaesthesia and respiratory settings were standardized. We measured arterial oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry and blood gas analysis on air breathing. Inspiratory and expiratory lung function was measured preoperatively (baseline) and at 10 min, 1 h, 2 h, 6 h and 24 h after extubation, with the patient supine, in a 30 degrees head-up position. The two groups were compared using repeated-measure analysis of variance (ANOVA) and t-test analysis. Statistical significance was considered to be P < 0.05.
Results
There were no differences at the first assessment. During the PACU stay, pulmonary function in the NIV group was significantly better than in the controls (p < 0.0001). Blood gases and the alveolar to arterial oxygen partial pressure difference were also better (p < 0.03), but with the addition that overall improvements are of questionable clinical relevance. These effects persisted for at least 24 hours after surgery (p < 0.05).
Conclusion
Early initiation of short term NIV during in the PACU promotes more rapid recovery of postoperative lung function and oxygenation in the obese. The effect lasted 24 hours after discontinuation of NIV. Patient selection is necessary in order to establish clinically relevant improvements.
Trial Registration#
DRKS00000751; http://www.germanctr.de
doi:10.1186/1471-2253-11-10
PMCID: PMC3117807  PMID: 21605450
Obesity; atelectasis; lung function; NIV; PACU
8.  Short-term elevation of intracranial pressure does neither influence duodenal motility nor frequency of bolus transport events: a porcine model 
Background
Patients with traumatic brain injuries and raised intracranial pressure (ICP) display biphasic response with faster gastric emptying during the early stage followed by a prolonged gastric transit time later. While duodenal contractile activity plays a pivotal role in transpyloric transit we investigated the effects of raised intracranial pressure on duodenal motility during the early phase. In order to exclude significant deterioration of mucosal blood supply which might also influence duodenal motility, luminal microdialysis was used in conjunction.
Methods
During general anaesthesia, 11 pigs (32–37 kg, German Landrace) were instrumented with both a luminal catheter for impedancometry and a luminal catheter for microdialysis into the proximal duodenum. Additionally, a catheter was inserted into the left ventricle to increase the intracranial pressure from baseline up to 50 mmHg in steps of 10 mmHg each hour by injection of artificial cerebrospinal fluid. At the same time, duodenal motility was recorded continuously. Duodenal luminal lactate, pyruvate, and glucose concentrations were measured during physiological state and during elevated intracranial pressure of 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 mmHg in six pigs. Five pigs served as controls.
Results
Although there was a trend towards shortened migrating motor cycle (MMC) length in pigs with raised ICP, the interdigestive phase I–III and the MMC cycle length were comparable in the groups. Spontaneous MMC cycles were not disrupted during intracranial hypertension. The mean concentration of lactate and glucose was comparable in the groups, while the concentration of pyruvate was partially higher in the study group than in the controls (p < 0.05). This was associated with a decrease in lactate to pyruvate ratio (p < 0.05).
Conclusion
The present study suggests that a stepwise and hourly increase of the intracranial pressure of up to 50 mmHg, does not influence duodenal motility activity in a significant manner. A considerable deterioration of the duodenal mucosal blood flow was excluded by determining the lactate to pyruvate ratio.
doi:10.1186/1471-227X-6-1
PMCID: PMC1368992  PMID: 16433933

Results 1-8 (8)