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June 1975

Effects of Hypotension on Rhesus Monkeys

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Perinatal Physiology, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Neurol. 1975;32(6):374-380. doi:10.1001/archneur.1975.00490480040004

Twenty-one late-juvenile rhesus monkeys were rendered profoundly hypotensive for 0-, 15-, or 30-minute periods by means of infusion of trimethaphan camsylate. Blood pressure was then restored to prehypotensive levels with phenylephrine infusions. Respiratory gas tensions and pH of arterial blood were maintained within their normal limits throughout experimental and recovery periods.

Animals either recovered and showed no sequelae or died 12 to 48 hours later of cardiorespiratory difficulties, often accompanied by brain swelling. Brain injury and death occurred in 64% of cases when arterial blood pressure was maintained at 25 mm Hg for up to 30 minutes. Multifocal myoclonus, depressed electroencephalographic activity, rises in cisternal cerebrospinal (CSF) pressure, respiratory depression, and characteristic changes in serum and cisternal CSF glucose followed episodes of controlled hypotension. Hypoxia and acidosis occurring during insult or recovery periods rather than hypotension itself probably account for neuropathological sequelae described by others.

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