Pulsatile Perfusion Therapy at 0.1 Hz Improves Survival Following Severe Hemorrhage in Rats




0000-0001-6472-8648 (Dinh, Viet)

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PURPOSE: Oscillations in arterial pressure and blood flow at 0.1 Hz are associated with protection of tissue oxygenation during conditions of reduced tissue perfusion. Pulsatile Perfusion Therapy (PPT) is a method we have developed to induce these oscillations, and has been associated with increased tolerance to simulated hemorrhage via lower body negative pressure in humans. However, it is unknown how effective this therapy would be in an actual hemorrhage model. The aim for this study was to test the efficacy of PPT in a rat model of severe hemorrhage. We hypothesized that PPT at 0.1 Hz would protect arterial pressure and cerebral blood flow following severe hemorrhage in rats, subsequently improving survival.

METHODS: Eleven adult Sprague-Dawley rats (six female, five male) were anesthetized via isoflurane, then underwent bilateral carotid artery catheterization for assessment of arterial pressure and carotid artery blood flow, while heart rate was assessed via lead II ECG. Following a 15-min baseline period, all animals were hemorrhaged to 50% of their estimated blood volume over 30-min. Rats were then randomly assigned to the PPT group (3 female, 3 male) or the control group (CON; 3 female, 2 male). PPT was administered via inflatable cuffs attached to both hind limbs, oscillating between 0 mmHg and 250 mmHg every 5-s (10-s cycles or 0.1 Hz) for 30-min immediately following hemorrhage. For the CON group, the leg cuffs were also attached but were not inflated for this 30-min period. All animals were then monitored for an additional 150-min recovery period post-hemorrhage, or until death – defined as the absence of ventricular function on the ECG. Survival time and peak mean arterial pressure (MAP), carotid blood flow, and heart rate were assessed to determine the effectiveness of PPT in protecting hemodynamic responses following hemorrhage.

RESULTS: PPT increased survival time (P = 0.02), with 3 of 6 (50%) rats in the PPT group and 0 of 5 (0%) rats in the CON group surviving the entire 180-min recovery period following hemorrhage. During recovery, PPT protected MAP (PPT: −46.5 ± 12.9% vs. CON: −72.6 ± 19.5% from baseline; P = 0.07) and carotid blood flow (PPT: −61.5 ± 17.7% vs. CON: −83.7 ± 6.7% from baseline; P = 0.04), but did not affect heart rate (PPT: 0.11 ± 6.58% vs. CON: −18.70 ± 29.34% from baseline, P = 0.20), although responses were highly variable between subjects.

CONCLUSIONS: PPT protected arterial pressure and carotid blood flow in rats following severe hemorrhage, subsequently improving survival. These data add further evidence for the use of 0.1 Hz hemodynamic oscillations as a therapeutic intervention for the treatment of hemorrhage.