Phenylephrine does not reduce cerebral perfusion during canine cardiopulmonary bypass

W. E. Johnston, D. S. DeWitt, J. Vinten-Johansen, D. A. Stump, D. S. Prough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Gaseous microemboli during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) could injure the blood-brain barrier so that cerebral vasoconstriction would result from infusing α-agonist drugs, such as phenylephrine. Cerebral blood flow (radioactive microspheres) and metabolism were measured in seven dogs after rewarming from 150 min hypothermic CPB with bubble oxygenators used to produce gaseous microemboli. Phenylephrine (40 μg/min) was infused directly into the brachiocephalic artery so that aortic pressure before (80 ± 2 mm Hg) and during (79 ± 3 mm Hg) the infusion did not change. Neither blood flow to the cerebral hemispheres (P = 0.960), cerebellum (P = 0.854), and brainstem (P = 0.694) nor the cerebral metabolic rate for oxygen (P = 0.862) differed when values obtained before and after 30 min of phenylephrine infusion were compared. Cerebral vascular resistance was also unchanged by phenylephrine, being 1.22 ± 0.10 mm Hg · mL-1 · min-1 · 100 g-1 before infusion and 1.25 ± 0.17 mm Hg · mL-1 · min-1 · 100 g-1 during infusion (P = 0.849). Phenylephrine does not cause cerebral vasoconstriction after rewarming from hypothermic CPB, a finding which suggests that the blood-brain barrier is preserved during bypass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-18
Number of pages5
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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