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  • Dexmedetomidine In in vivo Murine Traumatic Brain Injury Model

    Final Number:

    Todd Douglas Vogel MD; Charles Glen Kulwin MD; Xiang Gao PhD; Jinhui Chen MD, PhD

    Study Design:
    Laboratory Investigation

    Subject Category:

    Meeting: Congress of Neurological Surgeons 2014 Annual Meeting

    Introduction: Traumatic brain injury has been shown to involve secondary injury pathways including autonomic dysregulation, ischemia, and excitotoxicity leading to neuronal death. Dexmedetomidine is an alpha-2 agonist that has demonstrated neuroprotection in animal models for ischemia and excitotoxicity. There have been no published reports of dexmedetomidine's effectiveness in neuroprotection following traumatic brain injury.

    Methods: Controlled cortical impact through a pneumatic device was used to create a moderate head injury in 8 week-old mice. The mice were randomized to receive either saline or dexmedetomidine at 1ug/kg, 10ug/kg, or 100ug/kg doses at 1 hour and 12 hours after injury. Mice were sacrificed at 24 hours after injury. Histopathological analysis was carried out using Fluoro Jade-B and cresyl violet staining. Fluoro Jade-B staining was used to mark neuronal death in the dentate gyrus. Cresyl violet staining allowed for quantification of ischemic damage to the cortex.

    Results: There was significantly less neuronal death at 1ug/kg and 100ug/kg dexmedetomidine compared to saline (p < 0.05). There was significantly less ischemic damage in the cortex at 10ug/kg, but not at 1ug/kg or 100ug/kg doses (p < 0.05).

    Conclusions: Dexmedetomidine demonstrated neuroprotection in a in vivo murine model for TBI. Dexmedetomidine deserves further research to determine if these results can be duplicated in other animal models and possibly applied to humans.

    Patient Care: Dexmedetomidine is a FDA-approved sedative that has a histopathological neuroprotective effect in multiple ischemic and excitotoxic animal models and now in a TBI animal model. Dexmedetomidine deserves further research to see if this neuroprotection potentially carries over to improved clinical outcomes in humans.

    Learning Objectives: At the end of the presentation, participants will understand the potential role for dexmedetomidine in traumatic brain injury.


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