Pharmacologic electroencephalographic suppression during cardiopulmonary bypass: A comparison of thiopental and isoflurane

Mark F. Newman, Narda D. Croughwell, William D. White, Ian Sanderson, William Spillane, J. G. Reves

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29 Scopus citations


In this study, we examined the cerebral oxygenation effects of two methods of pharmacologic burst suppression during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) in valvular heart surgery patients. Patients were randomly entered into one of three groups: control (n = 13, fentanyl and midazolam), control plus burst suppression doses of thiopental (n = 15), or control plus burst suppression doses of isoflurane (n = 16). Burst suppression (80% suppression) was accomplished in the thiopental and isoflurane groups 15 min before aortic cannulation and was maintained through aortic decannulation. Cerebral physiologic measurements were made during hypothermia (27-28°C) and on rewarming to 36°C. During hypothermia, burst suppression produced significant (P < 0.005) differences with regard to cerebral vascular resistance (P = 0.003), cerebral arterial venom oxygen difference [C(a- v)O2] (P = 0.032), cerebral blood flow (CBF) (P = 0.009), and cerebral oxygen delivery (P = 0.027). There was a similar pattern on rewarming, with groups differing significantly (P < 0.05) with respect to CBF (P = 0.016), cerebral vascular resistance (P = 0.008), oxygen delivery (P = 0.004), C(a- v)O2 (P = 0.043), and cerebral oxygen extraction (P = 0.046). Rewarming rates were similar among groups. There was no difference in neurologic outcome or requirement for inotropic support among groups. The time to awakening was increased (P = 0.0005) in the thiopental group. The thiopental group had lower cerebral oxygen delivery, but not lower cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption, compared with the control group, resulting in widening C(a-v)O2 during CPB. This lack of coupling of oxygen delivery and consumption suggests that pharmacologic neuroprotective mechanisms are complex and involve more than an improvement in the ratio of global cerebral oxygen supply to demand. Implications: This study demonstrates that the balance of cerebral oxygen delivery to consumption during cardiopulmonary bypass is altered differently by thiopental and isoflurane. As others have noted, it seems that cerebral protection is more complex than a simple improvement in the balance of oxygen delivery and consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-251
Number of pages6
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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