Diminution of metabolism/blood flow uncoupling following traumatic brain injury in rats in response to high-dose human albumin treatment

M. D. Ginsberg, W. Zhao, L. Belayev, O. F. Alonso, Y. Liu, J. Y. Loor, R. Busto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Object. The authors have recently demonstrated that high-dose human albumin is markedly neuroprotective in experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI) and cerebral ischemia. The pathophysiology of TBI involves acute uncoupling of cerebral glucose utilization and blood flow. The intent of this study was to establish whether the use of human albumin therapy in a model of acute TBI would influence this phenomenon. Methods. Anesthetized, physiologically regulated rats received moderate (1.5-2 atm) fluid-percussion injury to the parietal lobe. Fifteen minutes after trauma or sham injury, rats in one group received human albumin (2.5 g/kg) administered intravenously and those in another group received 0.9% saline vehicle. At 60 minutes and 24 hours posttrauma, autoradiographic studies of local cerebral blood flow (LCBF) and local cerebral glucose utilization (LCMRglu) were conducted, and the LCMRglu/LCBF ratio was determined. Sham-injured rats had normal levels of LCBF and LCMRglu, and no differences between vehicle- and albumin-treated rats were evident. Sixty minutes after TBI, LCBF was moderately reduced bilaterally in vehicle-treated rats, whereas in albumin-treated animals, the LCBF contralateral to the side of injury was generally normal. Despite acutely depressed LCBF, LCMRglu in vehicle-treated rats at 60 minutes was paradoxically normal bilaterally, and foci of elevated LCMRglu were noted in the ipsilateral hippocampus and thalamus. By contrast, in albumin-treated rats studied 60 minutes post-TBI, reduced LCMRglu values were measured in the ipsilateral caudoputamen and parietal cortex, whereas LCMRglu in other ipsilateral and contralateral sites did not differ from that measured in sham-injured animals. The metabolism/blood flow ratio was normal in sham-injured rats, but became markedly elevated in vehicle-treated rats 60 minutes post-TBI (on average, by threefold ipsilaterally and 2.1-fold contralaterally). By contrast, the mean metabolism/blood flow ratio in albumin-treated animals was elevated by only 1.6-fold ipsilaterally and was normal contralaterally. Twenty-four hours after TBI, LCBF contralateral to the side of injury had generally returned to normal levels in the albumin-treated group. Conclusions. These results demonstrate that human albumin therapy benefits the posttraumatic brain by diminishing the pronounced metabolism > blood flow dissociation that would otherwise occur within the 1st hour after injury. Viewed together with our previous evidence of histological neuroprotection, these findings indicate that human albumin therapy may represent a desirable treatment modality for acute TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-509
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Deoxyglucose
  • Fluid-percussion injury
  • Glucose utilization
  • Hyperglycolysis
  • Image analysis
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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