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February 1977

Nervous System Effects of Cardiac Arrest in Monkeys: Preservation of Vision

Author Affiliations

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

Arch Neurol. 1977;34(2):65-74. doi:10.1001/archneur.1977.00500140019003

• Thirteen juvenile monkeys were taught two visual discrimination tasks. After 12 to 24 hours of food deprivation, ten underwent 14-minute episodes of cardiac arrest. Three served as controls. Five of the ten arrested animals survived and were tested in the discrimination box. All continued to perform color and pattern discrimination tasks with one to eight days' delay. All appeared neurologically intact, while brain pathologic examination after 11 to 64 days' survival showed either intact brains or injury restricted to nuclear structures in the brain stem, cerebellar Purkinje cells, and hippocampus. Five animals died 4 to 36 hours after they were resuscitated. Two required prolonged cardiac massage and, despite return of adequate cardiovascular function, died early. A third animal dislodged its arterial catheter and exsanguinated. The remaining two animals, who received infusions of glucose just prior to arrest, developed widespread fasciculations and myoclonic seizures. They became decerebrate and opisthotonic and were killed after 10 and 36 hours. Their brains showed mild edema and widespread necrosis of cortex and basal ganglia. Thus, food-deprived monkeys tolerate 14 minutes of circulatory arrest well and show minimal neurologic and pathologic changes, while administration of glucose just before arrest markedly augments the severity of brain injury and alters its distribution.

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