Cerebral blood volume (CBV) in humans during normo- and hypocapnia: influence of nitrous oxide (N(2)O)

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BACKGROUND: It is generally argued that variations in cerebral blood flow create concomitant changes in the cerebral blood volume (CBV). Because nitrous oxide (N(2)O) inhalation both increases cerebral blood flow and may increase intracranial pressure, it is reasonable to assume that N(2)O acts as a general vasodilatator in cerebral vessels both on the arterial and on the venous side. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effect of N(2)O on three-dimensional regional and global CBV in humans during normocapnia and hypocapnia. METHODS: Nine volunteers were studied under each of four conditions: normocapnia, hypocapnia, normocapnia + 40-50% N(2)O, and hypocapnia + 40-50% N(2)O. CBV was measured after (99m)Tc-labeling of blood with radioactive quantitative registration via single photon emission computer-aided tomography scanning. RESULTS: Global CBV during normocapnia and inhalation of 50% O(2) was 4.25 +/- 0.57% of the brain volume (4.17 +/- 0.56 ml/100 g, mean +/- SD) with no change during inhalation of 40-50% N(2)O in O(2). Decreasing carbon dioxide (CO(2)) by 1.5 kPa (11 mmHg) without N(2)O inhalation and by 1.4 kPa (11 mmHg) with N(2)O inhalation reduced CBV significantly (F = 57, P < 0.0001), by 0.27 +/- 0.10% of the brain volume per kilopascal (0.26 +/- 0.10 ml x 100 g(-1) x kPa(-1)) without N(2)O inhalation and by 0.35 +/- 0.22% of the brain volume per kilopascal (0.34 +/- 0.22 ml x 100 g(-1) x kPa(-1)) during N(2)O inhalation (no significant difference). The amount of carbon dioxide significantly altered the regional distribution of CBV (F = 47, P < 0.0001), corresponding to a regional difference in Delta CBV when CO(2) is changed. N(2)O inhalation did not significantly change the distribution of regional CBV (F = 2.4, P = 0.051) or Delta CBV/Delta CO(2) in these nine subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Nitrous oxide inhalation had no effect either on CBV or on the normal CBV-CO(2) response in humans.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Anesthesiology and Intensive Care
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1079-1082
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch