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Controlled Decompression Attenuates Brain Injury in a Novel Rabbit Model of Acute Intracranial Hypertension

Haoxiang Guan, Can Zhang, Tao Chen, Jie Zhu, Shuo Yang, Longfei Shu, Wei Shen, Yuhai Wang

Department of Neurosurgery, 904TH Hospital of People’s Liberation Army (PLA), Wuxi Clinical College of Anhui Medical University, Wuxi, Jiangsu, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:9776-9785

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.919796

Available online:

Published: 2019-12-20


BACKGROUND: In the past, standard rapid decompressive craniectomy was used to alleviate the secondary damage caused by high intracranial pressure. Recent clinical studies showed that controlled decompression may have a better curative effect than rapid decompression. However, the effect on controlled decompression in animals is unclear.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Totally 80 healthy male New Zealand rabbits were randomly divided into a sham group (n=20), a rapid decompression group (n=30), and a controlled decompression group (n=30). An intracranial hypertension model was induced by injecting saline into an epidural balloon catheter and reducing ICP slowly and gradually by use of a pressure pump. The model was evaluated and analyzed by general observations, imaging examination, ICP values, behavioral score, brain water content, Nissl staining, and caspase-3 protein detection.
RESULTS: The mortality rate was 36.7% (11/30) in the rapid group, 20% (6/30) in the controlled group, and 5% (1/20) in the sham group. The incidence of epidural hematoma in the controlled group was lower than in the rapid group (p<0.01). The ICP was significantly lower in the controlled group than in the rapid group (p<0.001), and the behavioral score in the rapid group was higher than in the controlled group (p<0.05). There was a marked difference in brain water content between the controlled group and the rapid group (p<0.01). Nissl staining demonstrated that the ratio of Nissl body in the controlled group was significantly higher than in the rapid group (p<0.01). WB detection showed the expression of Caspase-3 in the controlled group was lower than in the rapid group (p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The results show the advantages of use of controlled decompression with intracranial hypertension. The animal model we developed provides a platform for further research on controlled decompression.

Keywords: Decompression, decompressive craniectomy, Intracranial Hypertension, Models, Animal, Reperfusion Injury



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