Hydroxyethyl starch reduces leukocyte adherence and vascular injury in the newborn pig cerebral circulation after asphyxia

S. S. Kaplan, T. S. Park, E. R. Gonzales, J. M. Gidday, J. A. Zivin

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41 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - Hydroxyethyl starch (HES) has beneficial effects on ischemic brain injury; however, its mechanism of action remains unclear. The present study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that HES can attenuate increases in leukocyte adherence and vascular permeability in the cerebral vasculature after global cerebral ischemia induced by asphyxia. Methods - Pial venular leukocyte adherence and permeability to sodium fluorescein were quantified in anesthetized newborn piglets by in situ fluorescence videomicroscopy through closed cranial windows during basal conditions and during 2 hours of reperfusion after global ischemia induced by 9 minutes of asphyxia. Experimental animals received HES after the asphyxial insult (10% HES 257/0.47, 600 mg/kg IV bolus 5 minutes after asphyxia, followed by 600 mg/kg per hour IV drip during reperfusion; n=9). Results - A progressive and significant (P<0.05) increase in adherent leukocytes was observed during the initial 2 hours of reperfusion after asphyxia compared with nonasphyxial controls. In this model, vascular injury, as determined by significant (P<0.05) increases in fluorescein permeability at 2 hours of reperfusion, is largely dependent on adherent leukocytes. HES significantly reduced (P<0.05) leukocyte adherence at 1 hour and 2 hours of reperfusion and reduced fluorescein permeability at 2 hours. HES did not change hematocrit or alter pial arteriolar diameter. Conclusions - These findings indicate that a vascular anti-inflammatory action may underlie the beneficial effects of HES in global cerebral ischemia secondary to asphyxia. Since this compound is well tolerated by patients, future preclinical and clinical studies may reveal improvements in functional outcome with the early introduction of this or similar agents after perinatal asphyxia or global ischemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2218-2223
Number of pages6
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2000


  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Global
  • Inflammation
  • Leukocytes
  • Reperfusion injury


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