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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1991 Sep;11(5):803-9.

Effects of dextromethorphan on regional cerebral blood flow in focal cerebral ischemia.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305.


Dextromethorphan (DM), a noncompetitive NMDA antagonist, has been demonstrated to reduce ischemic neuronal damage and edema, but DM's influence on cerebral blood flow has not been extensively studied. In this investigation, it is shown that DM has significant effects on regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) patterns in a rabbit model of focal cerebral ischemia. rCBF was measured using radioactive microspheres following a 1 h permanent occlusion of the left internal carotid, anterior cerebral, and middle cerebral arteries in rabbits. Somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) were used to assess the degree of ischemia; only animals where SEPs were completely abolished were used for a frequency distribution analysis of rCBF. It was found that there were significantly more regions with lower flows in animals treated with normal saline (NS) (n = 7) compared to animals treated with DM (n = 7) (p less than 0.05, ipsilateral left side; p less than 0.001, contralateral right side). The frequency distribution medians were 27.5 ml 100 g-1 min-1 (left) and 70.0 ml 100 g-1 min-1 (right) in the NS group vs. 34.5 ml 100 g-1 min-1 (left) and 80.5 ml 100 g-1 min-1 (right) in the DM group. The left and right hemispheric regional means were 29.4 +/- 20 and 74.3 +/- 23 ml 100 g-1 min-1, respectively, in the NS group vs. 34.4 +/- 16 and 91.0 +/- 28 ml 100 g-1 min-1, respectively, in the DM group.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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