Bedside Diagnosis of Mitochondrial Dysfunction After Malignant Middle Cerebral Artery Infarction

T. H. Nielsen, Wilhelm Schalén, Nils Ståhl, P. Toft, Peter Reinstrup, C. H. Nordstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study explores whether the cerebral biochemical pattern in patients treated with hemicraniectomy after large middle cerebral artery infarcts reflects ongoing ischemia or non-ischemic mitochondrial dysfunction. The study includes 44 patients treated with decompressive hemicraniectomy (DCH) due to malignant middle cerebral artery infarctions. Chemical variables related to energy metabolism obtained by microdialysis were analyzed in the infarcted tissue and in the contralateral hemisphere from the time of DCH until 96 h after DCH. Reperfusion of the infarcted tissue was documented in a previous report. Cerebral lactate/pyruvate ratio (L/P) and lactate were significantly elevated in the infarcted tissue compared to the non-infarcted hemisphere (p < 0.05). From 12 to 96 h after DCH the pyruvate level was significantly higher in the infarcted tissue than in the non-infarcted hemisphere (p < 0.05). After a prolonged period of ischemia and subsequent reperfusion, cerebral tissue shows signs of protracted mitochondrial dysfunction, characterized by a marked increase in cerebral lactate level with a normal or increased cerebral pyruvate level resulting in an increased LP-ratio. This biochemical pattern contrasts to cerebral ischemia, which is characterized by a marked decrease in cerebral pyruvate. The study supports the hypothesis that it is possible to diagnose cerebral mitochondrial dysfunction and to separate it from cerebral ischemia by microdialysis and bed-side biochemical analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-42
JournalNeurocritical Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Anesthesiology and Intensive Care
  • Neurology

Free keywords

  • Mitochondrial dysfunction
  • Cerebral metabolism
  • Microdialysis
  • Malignant
  • middle cerebral artery infarction


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