Postoperative hypoxemia exacerbates potential brain injury after deep hypothermic circulatory arrest

Steven S.L. Tsui, Jess M. Schultz, Irving Shen, Ross M. Ungerleider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


Background Deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA) is often used in infants undergoing the Norwood procedure. These infants are hypoxic after surgery. Previous investigations into the cerebral metabolic response and oxygen utilization after DHCA examined animals with normal arterial oxygenation. This study reports the cerebral metabolic consequences if hypoxemic conditions are present after DHCA. Methods Eighteen neonatal piglets were randomly assigned to three groups. The control group was ventilated; the cardiopulmonary bypass group underwent 60 minutes of normothermic cardiopulmonary bypass, and the DHCA group underwent cardiopulmonary bypass and 60 minutes of DHCA (16°to 18°C) followed by rewarming. Hemodynamic and cerebral perfusion data were measured at an arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) of 150 to 250 mm Hg, and then at moderate hypoxemia (PaO2, 50 to 60 mm Hg) and severe hypoxemia (PaO2, 25 to 35 mm Hg). Results Cerebral oxygen delivery decreased by 44% from PaO2 150 to 250 mm Hg to severe hypoxemia (p < 0.001). Cerebral oxygen extraction increased from moderate hypoxemia to severe hypoxemia in the control (57.9% ± 3.7% to 71.8% ± 3.8%; p = 0.002) and cardiopulmonary bypass groups (61.2% ± 2.6% to 70.6% ± 1.2%; p = 0.035); however, the cerebral oxygen extraction of the DHCA group did not increase under these conditions (82.8% ± 1.8% to 77.9% ± 4.3%; p = 0.32). The cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption of the DHCA group decreased from PaO2 150 to 250 mm Hg to severe hypoxemia (1.86 ± 0.20 to 0.99 ± 0.24 mL O2 · 100 g-1 · min-1; p = 0.02), whereas the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption did not change under these conditions in the control and cardiopulmonary bypass groups. Conclusions Under hypoxemic conditions cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption deteriorates after DHCA. Infants exposed to DHCA may be at greater risk of brain injury when postoperative hypoxemia is present. Because maximal cerebral oxygen extraction after DHCA occurs at moderate hypoxemia, techniques that increase cerebral oxygen delivery may reduce the risk of hypoxic brain injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-196
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2004



  • 19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this