Retrograde cerebral perfusion results in flow distribution abnormalities and neuronal damage: A magnetic resonance imaging and histopathological study in pigs

Jian Ye, Lawrence N. Ryner, Piotr Kozlowski, Luojia Yang, Marc R. Del Bigio, Jiankang Sun, Maureen Donnelly, Randy Summers, Tomás A. Salerno, Rajmund L. Somorjai, John K. Saunders, Roxanne Deslauriers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background - In the past few years, although significant efforts have been made to assess flow distribution during retrograde cerebral perfusion with microspheres, dye, or hydrogen clearance, flow distribution in real time is still undefined. We used MR perfusion imaging to monitor flow distribution in the brain during and after deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA) with antegrade or retrograde cerebral perfusion (ACP or RCP). Methods and Results - Thirteen pigs were divided into 2 groups and exposed to 120 minutes of either RCP (n=7) or ACP (n=6) at 15°C, followed by 60 minutes of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) at 37°C. During DHCA, the brain was perfused antegradely through the common carotid artery or retrogradely through the superior vena cava at pressures of 60 to 70 mm Hg and 20 to 25 mm Hg in the ACP and RCP groups, respectively. Esophageal temperature was monitored continuously. MR perfusion images were acquired every 30 minutes before, during, and after DHCA. The brain was perfusion-fixed with formaldehyde solution for histopathology at the completion of each experiment. During initial normothermic CPB, MR perfusion imaging showed a nearly uniform distribution of flow in the brain. The same pattern was maintained with a significant increase in regional cerebral blood volume during ACP and reperfusion in the ACP group. RCP provided little or no detectable blood distribution to the brain, resulting in poor reperfusion of many areas of the brain on reflow with CPB at 37°C. The total area suffering poor reperfusion was significantly higher in the RCP group than the ACP group. Histopathology showed no morphological changes in any area of the brain in the ACP group, whereas varying severity of neuronal damage was observed in different regions of the brain in the RCP group. Conclusions - ACP preserves uniform blood distribution and normal morphology of brain tissue after prolonged DHCA. RCP provides very little blood to the tissue of the brain. A 120-minute period of RCP results in abnormal flow distribution and neuronal damage during reperfusion. The damage resulting from shorter periods of RCP remains to be assessed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)II313-II318
Issue number19 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Nov 10 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain
  • Bypass
  • Cerebrovascular circulation
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Perfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Retrograde cerebral perfusion results in flow distribution abnormalities and neuronal damage: A magnetic resonance imaging and histopathological study in pigs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this