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Positron emission tomography scans of patients with head injuries often show discrete areas of increased 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose uptake ("hot spots") when performed hours to days after the initial ictus. Using quantitative autoradiographic methods, the authors have investigated whether cerebral blood flow and glucose metabolism are uncoupled 2 hours after controlled head injury in an animal model, and whether any "hot spots" are accompanied by changes in cerebral glucose concentration. Experiments were performed on 18 anesthetized, ventilated (1.5% halothane in 2:1 nitrous oxide:oxygen) Sprague-Dawley rats weighing 300 to 330 g. A burr hole was made over the left parietal cortex, and all animals received a piston impact on the intact dura (2 mm in diameter, 2.0 m/sec, 2 mm in depth). All animals remained anesthetized and ventilated for a further 2 hours, after which quantitative autoradiography was used to determine either (1) local cerebral blood flow (LCBF) using 14C-iodoantipyrine, (2) local cerebral glucose utilization (LCGU) using 14C-deoxyglucose, or (3) local cerebral glucose content (LCGC) using 14C-methylglucose. Local CBF, LCGU, and LCGC were measured in five regions adjacent to the contusion, and values then were normalized on the contralateral cortex. Normalized LCBF, LCGU, or LCGC varied in parallel in ipsilateral cortex (no change) and in the ischemic core of the contusion (reduced). However, there were marked changes in the patterns observed in the boundary zone (within 1 mm of the contusion). In all six rats used for LCGU measurement, there were discrete areas of high metabolism, whereas in all six rats used for LCBF measurement, flow was universally depressed in the boundary zone. Of the six rats used for LCGC determination, there was a discrete area of high signal in only one. The authors conclude that there are discrete areas of uncoupling of cerebral blood flow and metabolism after head injury within 2 hours of cerebral contusion in the rat that cannot be explained by changes in cerebral glucose content in the majority of animals.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cereb Blood Flow Metab

Publication Date





779 - 781


Animals, Antipyrine, Autoradiography, Brain, Brain Chemistry, Brain Injuries, Carbon Radioisotopes, Deoxyglucose, Glucose, Male, Methylation, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Tomography, Emission-Computed