The i.v. anaesthetic propofol produces bronchodilatation. Airway relaxation involves reduced intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) in airway smooth muscle (ASM) and lipid rafts (caveolae), and constitutional caveolin proteins regulate [Ca2+]i. We postulated that propofol-induced bronchodilatation involves caveolar disruption.
Caveolar fractions of human ASM cells were tested for propofol content. [Ca2+]i responses of ASM cells loaded with fura-2 were performed in the presence of 10 µM histamine with and without clinically relevant concentrations of propofol (10 and 30 μM and intralipid control). Effects on sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ release were evaluated in zero extracellular Ca2+ using the blockers Xestospongin C and ryanodine. Store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) after SR depletion was evaluated using established techniques. The role of caveolin-1 in the effect of propofol was tested using small interference RNA (siRNA) suppression. Changes in intracellular signalling cascades relevant to [Ca2+]i and force regulation were also evaluated.
Propofol was present in ASM caveolar fractions in substantial concentrations. Exposure to 10 or 30 µM propofol form decreased [Ca2+]i peak (but not plateau) responses to histamine by ∼40%, an effect persistent in zero extracellular Ca2+. Propofol effects were absent in caveolin-1 siRNA-transfected cells. Inhibition of ryanodine receptors prevented propofol effects on [Ca2+]i, while propofol blunted [Ca2+]i responses to caffeine. Propofol reduced SOCE, an effect also prevented by caveolin-1 siRNA. Propofol effects were associated with decreased caveolin-1 expression and extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation.
These novel data suggest a role for caveolae (specifically caveolin-1) in propofol-induced bronchodilatation. Due to its lipid nature, propofol may transiently disrupt caveolar regulation, thus altering ASM [Ca2+]i.
bronchial smooth muscle; bronchodilatation; calcium regulation; caveolin; intravenous anaesthetic; signalling
Impaired cerebral autoregulation may predispose patients to cerebral hypoperfusion during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). The purpose of this study was to identify risk factors for impaired autoregulation during coronary artery bypass graft, valve surgery with CPB, or both and to evaluate whether near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) autoregulation monitoring could be used to identify this condition.
Two hundred and thirty-four patients were monitored with transcranial Doppler and NIRS. A continuous, moving Pearson's correlation coefficient was calculated between mean arterial pressure (MAP) and cerebral blood flow (CBF) velocity, and between MAP and NIRS data, to generate the mean velocity index (Mx) and cerebral oximetry index (COx), respectively. Functional autoregulation is indicated by an Mx and COx that approach zero (no correlation between CBF and MAP); impaired autoregulation is indicated by an Mx and COx approaching 1. Impaired autoregulation was defined as an Mx ≥0.40 at all MAPs during CPB.
Twenty per cent of patients demonstrated impaired autoregulation during CPB. Based on multivariate logistic regression analysis, time-averaged COx during CPB, male gender, , CBF velocity, and preoperative aspirin use were independently associated with impaired CBF autoregulation. Perioperative stroke occurred in six of 47 (12.8%) patients with impaired autoregulation compared with five of 187 (2.7%) patients with preserved autoregulation (P=0.011).
Impaired CBF autoregulation occurs in 20% of patients during CPB. Patients with impaired autoregulation are more likely than those with functional autoregulation to have perioperative stroke. Non-invasive monitoring autoregulation may provide an accurate means to predict impaired autoregulation.
Clinical trials registration. www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00769691).
cardiac surgery; cardiopulmonary bypass; cerebral autoregulation; stroke
The use of general anaesthetics in young children and infants has raised concerns regarding the adverse effects of these drugs on brain development. Sevoflurane might have harmful effects on the developing brain; however, these effects have not been well investigated.
Postnatal day 7 (P7) Sprague–Dawley rats were continuously exposed to 2.3% sevoflurane for 6 h. We used the Fox battery test and Morris water maze (MWM) to examine subsequent neurobehavioural performance. Cleaved caspase-3 and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) were quantified by immunoblotting, and the Nissl staining was used to observe the histopathological changes in the hippocampus.
A single 6 h sevoflurane exposure at P7 rats resulted in increased cleaved caspase-3 expression and decreased nNOS levels in the hippocampus, and induced the loss of pyramidal neurones in the CA1 and CA3 subfields of the hippocampus at P7–8. These changes were accompanied by temporal retardation of sensorimotor reflexes. However, neither the Fox battery test at P1–21 nor the MWM test at P28–32 showed differences between the air- and sevoflurane-treated groups.
Although early exposure to sevoflurane increases activated caspase-3 expression and neuronal loss and decreases nNOS in the neonatal hippocampus, it does not affect subsequent neurobehavioural performances in juvenile rats.
anaesthetic, sevoflurane; caspase 3; hippocampus; memory; neuronal nitric oxide synthase; sevoflurane
Although acupuncture analgesia is well documented, its mechanisms have not been thoroughly clarified. We previously showed that electroacupuncture (EA) activates supraspinal serotonin- and norepinephrine-containing neurones that project to the spinal cord. This study investigates the involvement of spinal alpha(2)-adrenoceptors (α2-ARs) and 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) receptors (5-HTRs) in EA effects on an inflammatory pain rat model.
Inflammatory hyperalgesia was induced by injecting complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA, 0.08 ml) into the plantar surface of one hind paw and assessed by paw withdrawal latency (PWL) to a noxious thermal stimulus. The selective α2a-AR antagonist BRL-44408, α2b-AR antagonist imiloxan hydrochloride, 5-HT2B receptor (5-HT2BR) antagonist SB204741, 5-HT3R antagonist LY278584, or 5-HT1AR antagonists NAN-190 hydrobromide, or WAY-100635 were intrathecally administered 20 min before EA or sham EA, which was given 2 h post-CFA at acupoint GB30.
EA significantly increased PWL compared with sham [7.20 (0.46) vs 5.20 (0.43) s]. Pretreatment with α2a-AR [5.35 (0.45) s] or 5-HT1AR [5.22 (0.38) s] antagonists blocked EA-produced anti-hyperalgesia; α2b-AR, 5-HT2BR, and 5-HT3R antagonist pretreatment did not. Sham plus these antagonists did not significantly change PWL compared with sham plus vehicle, indicating that the antagonists had little effect on PWL. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated that α2a-ARs are on primary afferents and 5-HT1ARs are localized in N-methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA) subunit NR1-containing neurones in the spinal dorsal horn.
The data show that α2a-ARs and 5-HT1ARs are involved in the EA inhibition of inflammatory pain and that the NMDA receptors are involved in EA action.
acupuncture; norepinephrine; pain; serotonin; spinal cord
Chronic pain is a state of physical suffering strongly associated with feelings of anxiety, depression and despair. Disease pathophysiology, psychological state, and social milieu can influence chronic pain, but can be difficult to diagnose based solely on clinical presentation. Here, we review brain neuroimaging research that is shaping our understanding of pain mechanisms, and consider how such knowledge might lead to useful diagnostic tools for the management of persistent pain in individual patients.
chronic pain; neuroimaging, magnetic resonance imaging, functional
Disturbed breathing during sleep, with episodic upper airway obstruction, is frequent after major surgery. Ventilatory responses to hypercapnia and hypoxia during episodes of airway obstruction are difficult to investigate because the usual measure, that of ventilation, has been attenuated by the obstruction. We simulated the blood gas stimulus associated with obstruction to allow investigation of the responses.
To assess ventilatory responses, we studied 19 patients, mean age 59 (19–79), first at discharge from high dependency care after major abdominal surgery and then at surgical review, ∼6 weeks later. Exhaled gas was analysed and inspired gas adjusted to simulate changes that would occur during airway obstruction. Changes in ventilation were measured over the following 45–70 s. Studies were done from air breathing if possible, and also from an increased inspired oxygen concentration.
During simulated obstruction, hypercapnia developed similarly in all the test conditions. Arterial oxygen saturation decreased significantly more rapidly when the test was started from air breathing. The mean ventilatory response was 5.8 litre min−2 starting from air breathing and 4.5 litre min−2 with oxygen breathing. The values 6 weeks later were 5.9 and 4.3 litre min−2, respectively (P=0.05, analysis of variance). There was no statistical difference between the responses starting from air and those on oxygen.
After major surgery, ventilatory responses to hypercapnia and hypoxaemia associated with airway obstruction are small and do not improve after 6 weeks. With air breathing, arterial oxygen desaturation during simulated rebreathing is substantial.
general surgery; pulmonary ventilation; respiratory insufficiency
Multiple studies have shown that cerebral tissue oxygen saturation () is decreased after phenylephrine treatment. We hypothesized that the negative impact of phenylephrine administration on is affected by arterial blood carbon dioxide partial pressure () because CO2 is a powerful modulator of cerebrovascular tone.
In 14 anaesthetized healthy patients, i.v. phenylephrine bolus was administered to increase the mean arterial pressure ∼20–30% during hypocapnia, normocapnia, and hypercapnia. and cerebral blood volume (CBV) were measured using frequency domain near-infrared spectroscopy, a quantitative technology. Data collection occurred before and after each treatment.
Phenylephrine caused a significant decrease in during hypocapnia [=−3.4 (1.5)%, P<0.001], normocapnia [=−2.4 (1.5)%, P<0.001], and hypercapnia [=−1.4 (1.5)%, P<0.01]. Decreases in were significantly different between hypocapnia, normocapnia, and hypercapnia (P<0.001). Phenylephrine also caused a significant decrease in CBV during hypocapnia (P<0.01), but not during normocapnia or hypercapnia.
The negative impact of phenylephrine treatment on and CBV is intensified during hypocapnia while blunted during hypercapnia.
carbon dioxide; cerebral blood volume; cerebral tissue oxygen saturation; modulation; phenylephrine
Positive changes in safety culture have been hypothesized to be one of the mechanisms behind the reduction in mortality and morbidity after the introduction of the World Health Organization's Surgical Safety Checklist (SSC). We aimed to study the checklist effects on safety culture perceptions in operating theatre personnel using a prospective controlled intervention design at a single Norwegian university hospital.
We conducted a study with pre- and post-intervention surveys using the intervention and control groups. The primary outcome was the effects of the Norwegian version of the SSC on safety culture perceptions. Safety culture was measured using the validated Norwegian version of the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture. Descriptive characteristics of operating theatre personnel and checklist compliance data were also recorded. A mixed linear regression model was used to assess changes in safety culture.
The response rate was 61% (349/575) at baseline and 51% (292/569) post-intervention. Checklist compliance ranged from 77% to 85%. We found significant positive changes in the checklist intervention group for the culture factors ‘frequency of events reported’ and ‘adequate staffing’ with regression coefficients at −0.25 [95% confidence interval (CI), −0.47 to −0.07] and 0.21 (95% CI, 0.07–0.35), respectively. Overall, the intervention group reported significantly more positive culture scores—including at baseline.
Implementation of the SSC had rather limited impact on the safety culture within this hospital.
checklist; safety; safety climate; safety culture; surgery
There is currently a contrast between the demonstrated benefits of fibrinogen concentrate in correcting bleeding and reducing transfusion, and its perceived thrombogenic potential. This analysis evaluates the effects of fibrinogen concentrate on coagulation up to 12 days after administration during aortic surgery.
We performed a post hoc analysis of a prospective, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial of fibrinogen concentrate as first-line haemostatic therapy in aortic surgery. After cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) and protamine administration, subjects with coagulopathic bleeding received fibrinogen concentrate or placebo. The placebo group received allogeneic blood products, including fresh-frozen plasma (FFP; n=32); the fibrinogen concentrate group received fibrinogen concentrate alone (FC; n=14), or fibrinogen concentrate followed by allogeneic blood products (FC+FFP; n=15). Plasma fibrinogen, fibrin-based clotting (ROTEM®-based FIBTEM assay), and peri- and postoperative haematological and coagulation parameters were compared.
Plasma fibrinogen and FIBTEM maximum clot firmness (MCF) decreased ∼50% during CPB but were corrected by FC or FC+FFP. At last suture, the highest values for plasma fibrinogen (360 mg dl−1) and FIBTEM MCF (22 mm) were within normal ranges—below the acute phase increases observed after surgery. In patients receiving only FFP as a source of fibrinogen, these parameters recovered marginally by last suture (P<0.001 vs FC and FC+FFP). All groups displayed comparable haemostasis at 24 h post-surgery. Fibrinogen concentrate did not cause alterations of other haemostasis parameters.
Fibrinogen concentrate provided specific, significant, short-lived increases in plasma fibrinogen and fibrin-based clot firmness after aortic surgery.
blood coagulation tests; cardiopulmonary bypass; fibrin; fibrinogen; plasma
Sepsis-induced organ failure is the major cause of death in critical care units, and is characterized by a massive dysregulated inflammatory response and oxidative stress. We investigated the effects of treatment with antioxidants that protect mitochondria (MitoQ, MitoE, or melatonin) in a rat model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) plus peptidoglycan (PepG)-induced acute sepsis, characterized by inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction and early organ damage.
Anaesthetized and ventilated rats received an i.v. bolus of LPS and PepG followed by an i.v. infusion of MitoQ, MitoE, melatonin, or saline for 5 h. Organs and blood were then removed for determination of mitochondrial and organ function, oxidative stress, and key cytokines.
MitoQ, MitoE, or melatonin had broadly similar protective effects with improved mitochondrial respiration (P<0.002), reduced oxidative stress (P<0.02), and decreased interleukin-6 levels (P=0.0001). Compared with control rats, antioxidant-treated rats had lower levels of biochemical markers of organ dysfunction, including plasma alanine amino-transferase activity (P=0.02) and creatinine concentrations (P<0.0001).
Antioxidants that act preferentially in mitochondria reduce mitochondrial damage and organ dysfunction and decrease inflammatory responses in a rat model of acute sepsis.
co-enzyme Q10; interleukin-6; interleukin-10; melatonin; sepsis; tocopherol
Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is a major risk factor for maternal morbidity and mortality. PPH has numerous causative factors, which makes its occurrence and severity difficult to predict. Underlying haemostatic imbalances such as consumptive and dilutional coagulopathies may develop during PPH, and can exacerbate bleeding and lead to progression to severe PPH. Monitoring coagulation status in patients with PPH may be crucial for effective haemostatic management, goal-directed therapy, and improved outcomes. However, current PPH management guidelines do not account for the altered baseline coagulation status observed in pregnant patients, and the appropriate transfusion triggers to use in PPH are unknown, due to a lack of high-quality studies specific to this area. In this review, we consider the evidence for the use of standard laboratory-based coagulation tests and point-of-care viscoelastic coagulation monitoring in PPH. Many laboratory-based tests are unsuitable for emergency use due to their long turnaround times, so have limited value for the management of PPH. Emerging evidence suggests that viscoelastic monitoring, using thrombelastography- or thromboelastometry-based tests, may be useful for rapid assessment and for guiding haemostatic therapy during PPH. However, further studies are needed to define the ranges of reference values that should be considered ‘normal’ in this setting. Improving awareness of the correct application and interpretation of viscoelastic coagulation monitoring techniques may be critical in realizing their emergency diagnostic potential.
blood coagulation tests; point-of-care systems; postpartum haemorrhage; thrombelastography
An organizational approach is proposed as an immediate solution for improving
postoperative pain (POP) management. The aim was to evaluate the clinical effectiveness
of a quality management system (QMS), based on procedure-specific, multimodal analgesic
protocols, modified to meet the individual patients’ requirements.
Patients from the orthopaedic, gynaecological, visceral, and trauma surgery departments
of the university hospital were involved in two prospective surveys. Survey 1 was
performed at baseline and survey 2 was performed after the implementation of QMS within
an interval of 1 year. The patients were asked to report pain intensity on the visual
rating scale, incidence of analgesia-related side-effects, and incidence of pain
interference with the items of life quality and their satisfaction with the treatment of
Patients from Survey 2 (n=251) reported 25–30%
less pain than those from Survey 1 (n=269)
(P<0.0001). Nausea was reported by 40% of the patients
from Survey 1 vs 17% from Survey 2, vomiting by 25
vs 11% and fatigue by 76% in Survey 1
vs 30% in Survey 2 (P<0.0001). Life
quality and patients’ satisfaction improved in Survey 2 vs
Survey 1 (P<0.001).
The implementation of QMS allowed the reduction in POP intensity with a simultaneous
decrease in analgesia-related side-effects. This has led to an increased quality of life
and patient satisfaction.
adverse effects; analgesia; pain, postoperative; quality management
Both technical skills (TS) and non-technical skills (NTS) are key to ensuring patient safety in acute care practice and effective crisis management. These skills are often taught and assessed separately. We hypothesized that TS and NTS are not independent of each other, and we aimed to evaluate the relationship between TS and NTS during a simulated intraoperative crisis scenario.
This study was a retrospective analysis of performances from a previously published work. After institutional ethics approval, 50 anaesthesiology residents managed a simulated crisis scenario of an intraoperative cardiac arrest secondary to a malignant arrhythmia. We used a modified Delphi approach to design a TS checklist, specific for the management of a malignant arrhythmia requiring defibrillation. All scenarios were recorded. Each performance was analysed by four independent experts. For each performance, two experts independently rated the technical performance using the TS checklist, and two other experts independently rated NTS using the Anaesthetists' Non-Technical Skills score.
TS and NTS were significantly correlated to each other (r=0.45, P<0.05).
During a simulated 5 min resuscitation requiring crisis resource management, our results indicate that TS and NTS are related to one another. This research provides the basis for future studies evaluating the nature of this relationship, the influence of NTS training on the performance of TS, and to determine whether NTS are generic and transferrable between crises that require different TS.
cardiopulmonary resuscitation; clinical competence; medical education; patient simulation
Preoperative anaemia is common in patients undergoing orthopaedic and other major surgery. Anaemia is associated with increased risks of postoperative mortality and morbidity, infectious complications, prolonged hospitalization, and a greater likelihood of allogeneic red blood cell (RBC) transfusion. Evidence of the clinical and economic disadvantages of RBC transfusion in treating perioperative anaemia has prompted recommendations for its restriction and a growing interest in approaches that rely on patients' own (rather than donor) blood. These approaches are collectively termed ‘patient blood management’ (PBM). PBM involves the use of multidisciplinary, multimodal, individualized strategies to minimize RBC transfusion with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes. PBM relies on approaches (pillars) that detect and treat perioperative anaemia and reduce surgical blood loss and perioperative coagulopathy to harness and optimize physiological tolerance of anaemia. After the recent resolution 63.12 of the World Health Assembly, the implementation of PBM is encouraged in all WHO member states. This new standard of care is now established in some centres in the USA and Austria, in Western Australia, and nationally in the Netherlands. However, there is a pressing need for European healthcare providers to integrate PBM strategies into routine care for patients undergoing orthopaedic and other types of surgery in order to reduce the use of unnecessary transfusions and improve the quality of care. After reviewing current PBM practices in Europe, this article offers recommendations supporting its wider implementation, focusing on anaemia management, the first of the three pillars of PBM.
anaemia; outcome; patient blood management; transfusion
The STOP-Bang questionnaire is used to screen patients for obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). We evaluated the association between STOP-Bang scores and the probability of OSA.
After Institutional Review Board approval, patients who visited the preoperative clinics for a scheduled inpatient surgery were approached for informed consent. Patients answered STOP questionnaire and underwent either laboratory or portable polysomnography (PSG). PSG recordings were scored manually. The BMI, age, neck circumference, and gender (Bang) were documented. Over 4 yr, 6369 patients were approached and 1312 (20.6%) consented. Of them, 930 completed PSG, and 746 patients with complete data on PSG and STOP-Bang questionnaire were included for data analysis.
The median age of 746 patients was 60 yr, 49% males, BMI 30 kg m−2, and neck circumference 39 cm. OSA was present in 68.4% with 29.9% mild, 20.5% moderate, and 18.0% severe OSA. For a STOP-Bang score of 5, the odds ratio (OR) for moderate/severe and severe OSA was 4.8 and 10.4, respectively. For STOP-Bang 6, the OR for moderate/severe and severe OSA was 6.3 and 11.6, respectively. For STOP-Bang 7 and 8, the OR for moderate/severe and severe OSA was 6.9 and 14.9, respectively. The predicted probabilities for moderate/severe OSA increased from 0.36 to 0.60 as the STOP-Bang score increased from 3 to 7 and 8.
In the surgical population, a STOP-Bang score of 5–8 identified patients with high probability of moderate/severe OSA. The STOP-Bang score can help the healthcare team to stratify patients for unrecognized OSA, practice perioperative precautions, or triage patients for diagnosis and treatment.
mass screening; obstructive/ep (epidemiology); polysomnography; prospective studies; questionnaires; sleep apnoea; snoring/di (diagnosis); snoring/ep (epidemiology)
A great deal of concern has recently arisen regarding the safety of anaesthesia in infants and children. There is mounting and convincing preclinical evidence in rodents and non-human primates that anaesthetics in common clinical use are neurotoxic to the developing brain in vitro and cause long-term neurobehavioural abnormalities in vivo. An estimated 6 million children (including 1.5 million infants) undergo surgery and anaesthesia each year in the USA alone, so the clinical relevance of anaesthetic neurotoxicity is an urgent matter of public health. Clinical studies that have been conducted on the long-term neurodevelopmental effects of anaesthetic agents in infants and children are retrospective analyses of existing data. Two large-scale clinical studies are currently underway to further address this issue. The PANDA study is a large-scale, multisite, ambi-directional sibling-matched cohort study in the USA. The aim of this study is to examine the neurodevelopmental effects of exposure to general anaesthesia during inguinal hernia surgery before 36 months of age. Another large-scale study is the GAS study, which will compare the neurodevelopmental outcome between two anaesthetic techniques, general sevoflurane anaesthesia and regional anaesthesia, in infants undergoing inguinal hernia repair. These study results should contribute significant information related to anaesthetic neurotoxicity in children.
anaesthesia, paediatric; children; neurocognitive outcome; neurotoxicity; risk
Postoperative delirium and cognitive dysfunction (POCD) are topics of special importance in the geriatric surgical population. They are separate entities, whose relationship has yet to be fully elucidated. Although not limited to geriatric patients, the incidence and impact of both are more profound in geriatric patients. Delirium has been shown to be associated with longer and more costly hospital course and higher likelihood of death within 6 months or postoperative institutionalization. POCD has been associated with increased mortality, risk of leaving the labour market prematurely, and dependency on social transfer payments. Here, we review their definitions and aetiology, and discuss treatment and prevention in elderly patients undergoing major non-cardiac surgery. Good basic care demands identification of at-risk patients, awareness of common perioperative aggravating factors, simple prevention interventions, recognition of the disease states, and basic treatments for patients with severe hyperactive manifestations.
age factors; anaesthesia, geriatric; brain; complications
Perioperative visual loss (POVL), a rare, but devastating complication, can follow non-ocular surgery. Highest rates of visual loss are with cardiac and spine surgery. The main causes of visual loss after non-ocular surgery are retinal vascular occlusion and ischaemic optic neuropathy. This review updates readers on the incidence, suspected risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment of POVL due to these conditions.
complications, neurological; complications, neuropathy; eye, intraocular pressure; eye, pupil; surgery, spinal
Extracorporeal circuit priming and intravascular volume expansion during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) may lead to dilutional coagulopathy and excessive diffuse postoperative bleeding. Prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC) containing clotting factors II (FII), VII (FVII), IX (FIX), and X (FX) could be of potential value in correcting dilutional coagulopathy and reducing blood loss.
Anaesthetized pigs underwent CPB with hypothermia for 2 h at 25°C followed by 1 h of normothermia. Approximately 1 h after CPB, animals randomly received either isotonic saline 1 ml kg−1 or PCC 30 IU kg−1 in a volume of 1 ml kg−1. Diffuse coagulopathic bleeding was assessed as suture hole blood loss from a Gore-Tex patch placed over a full-thickness incision in the left carotid artery.
After CPB, levels of FII, FVII, FIX, and FX declined from baseline by 32% to 48%, and PCC fully or partially reversed those deficits. Median suture hole blood loss after administration of saline placebo was 74 ml. PCC reduced suture hole bleeding by a median of 54 ml with a 95% confidence interval of 6–112 ml (P=0.026) compared with saline. PCC, but not saline, normalized skin bleeding time. Peak thrombin generation markedly decreased after CPB, but then returned in PCC-treated animals to a level higher than baseline by 28.7 nM (14.5–41.1 nM; P=0.031).
PCC was effective in correcting dilutional coagulopathy and reducing diffuse bleeding in an in vivo large-animal CPB model. Further research is warranted on PCC as a haemostatic agent in CPB.
blood coagulation disorders; cardiopulmonary bypass; haemodilution; haemorrhage; prothrombin complex concentrates
Neuropathic pain is associated with significant co-morbidity, including anxiety and depression, which impact considerably on the overall patient experience. However, pain co-morbidity symptoms are rarely assessed in animal models of neuropathic pain. To improve the clinical validity of a widely used rodent model of traumatic peripheral neuropathy, we have investigated fear-avoidance- and depression-related behaviours in nerve-injured and sham-operated mice over a 4 week period.
Male C57BL/6J mice were subjected to partial sciatic nerve ligation (PSNL) or sham surgery and were assessed on days 7, 14, and 28 after operation. Withdrawal thresholds to punctate mechanical and cooling stimuli were measured. Mice were tested on the novel open-field and elevated plus-maze tests for fear-avoidance behaviour, and on the tail suspension test for depression-related behaviour.
Hypersensitivity to punctate mechanical and cool stimuli was evident up to day 28 after PSNL. However, there was no change in fear-avoidance- or depression-related behaviours regardless of interval after-surgery.
These data demonstrate that pain behaviour in nerve-injured C57BL/6J mice was not associated with alterations in emotion-related behaviours.
mouse; pain, chronic; pain, neuropathic; pain, psychological variables; research, animal
Anaesthetics suppress the formation of lasting memories at concentrations that do not suppress perception, but it is unclear which elements of the complex cascade leading from a conscious experience to a lasting memory trace are disrupted. Experiments in conscious humans suggest that subhypnotic concentrations of anaesthetics impair consolidation or maintenance rather than acquisition of a representation (long-term more than short-term memory). We sought to test whether these agents similarly impair learning in rats.
We used operant conditioning in rats to examine the effect of isoflurane on acquisition compared with long-term (24 h) memory of non-aversive olfactory memories using two different odour discrimination tasks. Rats learned the ‘valences’ of odour pairs presented either separately (task A) or simultaneously (task B), under control conditions and under isoflurane inhalation. In a separate set of experiments, we tested the ability of the animals to recall a learning set that had been acquired 24 h previously.
Under 0.4% isoflurane inhalation, the average number of trials required to reach criterion performance (18 correct responses in 20 successive trials) increased from 21.9 to 43.5 (P<0.05) and 24.2 to 54.4 (P<0.05) for tasks A and B, respectively. Under 0.3% isoflurane inhalation, only task B was impaired (from 24.2 to 31.5 trials, P<0.05). Recall at 24 h was dose-dependently impaired or prevented by isoflurane for both tasks.
Isoflurane interfered with long-term memory of odour valence without preventing its acquisition. This paradigm may serve as a non-aversive animal model of conscious amnesia.
amnesia, anterograde; anaesthetics, general; anaesthetics, inhalation; memory, long term; memory, short term
There is increasing interest in RNA interference in pain research using the intrathecal route to deliver small-interfering RNA (siRNA). An interferon (IFN) response is a common side-effect of siRNA. However, the IFN response in the spinal cord after intrathecal administration of siRNA remains unknown. We hypothesized that high doses of siRNAs can elicit off-target analgesia via releasing IFN-α. We investigated the IFN response and its role in regulating pain sensitivity in the spinal cords after intrathecal administration of siRNAs.
Male Sprague–Dawley rats were given intrathecal injections of non-targeting (NT) siRNAs or IFN-α and tested for complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)-induced mechanical allodynia and heat hyperalgesia. IFN-α in the spinal cord after injection of NT siRNAs was measured by western blotting and immunohistochemical staining.
IFN-α was up-regulated in the spinal cord after intrathecal treatment of NT siRNAs. Intrathecal injection of NT siRNAs, at high doses of 10 or 20 μg, reduced CFA-induced inflammatory pain (P<0.05). Intrathecal application of IFN-α inhibited pain hypersensitivity in inflamed rats and produced analgesia in naïve rats (P<0.05). Notably, the anti-nociceptive effects elicited by NT siRNAs and IFN-α were reversed by IFN-α neutralizing antibody and naloxone.
Our data suggest that (i) intrathecal administration of high doses of siRNA (≥10 μg) induced up-regulation of IFN-α in the spinal cord and produced analgesic effects through IFN-α, and (ii) IFN-α's analgesic effect is mediated via opioid receptors. Caution must be taken to avoid IFN-α-mediated analgesic effects of siRNAs in pain research.
analgesia; interferon; small-interfering RNA
Brain tissue partial oxygen pressure (PbtO2) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) are novel methods to evaluate cerebral oxygenation. We studied the response patterns of PbtO2, NIRS, and cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV) to changes in arterial pressure (AP) and intracranial pressure (ICP).
Digital recordings of multimodal brain monitoring from 42 head-injured patients were retrospectively analysed. Response latencies and patterns of PbtO2, NIRS-derived parameters [tissue oxygenation index (TOI) and total haemoglobin index (THI)], and CBFV reactions to fluctuations of AP and ICP were studied.
One hundred and twenty-one events were identified. In reaction to alterations of AP, ICP reacted first [4.3 s; inter-quartile range (IQR) −4.9 to 22.0 s, followed by NIRS-derived parameters and CBFV (10.9 s; IQR: −5.9 to 39.6 s, 12.1 s; IQR: −3.0 to 49.1 s, 14.7 s; IQR: −8.8 to 52.3 s for THI, CBFV, and TOI, respectively), with PbtO2 reacting last (39.6 s; IQR: 16.4 to 66.0 s). The differences in reaction time between NIRS parameters and PbtO2 were significant (P<0.001). Similarly when reactions to ICP changes were analysed, NIRS parameters preceded PbtO2 (7.1 s; IQR: −8.8 to 195.0 s, 18.1 s; IQR: −20.6 to 80.7 s, 22.9 s; IQR: 11.0 to 53.0 s for THI, TOI, and PbtO2, respectively). Two main patterns of responses to AP changes were identified. With preserved cerebrovascular reactivity, TOI and PbtO2 followed the direction of AP. With impaired cerebrovascular reactivity, TOI and PbtO2 decreased while AP and ICP increased. In 77% of events, the direction of TOI changes was concordant with PbtO2.
NIRS and transcranial Doppler signals reacted first to AP and ICP changes. The reaction of PbtO2 is delayed. The results imply that the analysed modalities monitor different stages of cerebral oxygenation.
brain tissue partial oxygen pressure; cerebral haemodynamics; cerebral oxygenation; cerebrovascular reactivity; near-infrared spectroscopy; tissue haemoglobin index; tissue oxygenation index