Dexamethasone decreases neurological sequelae and caspase activity

Jose Irazuzta, Robert K. Pretzlaff, Gabrielle DeCourten-Myers, Frank Zemlan, Basilia Zingarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the use of dexamethasone in a model of meningitis-induced brain injury. Changes in neurobehavioral performance were the primary outcome variables. Changes in caspase activation and markers of neuronal injury were the secondary outcome variables. Design: Randomized, prospective animal study. Setting: University research laboratory. Subjects: Male Wistar rats. Interventions: Animals underwent a basilar cistern injection of either placebo or a suspension of Group B Streptococcus. Sixteen hours after inoculation, animals were randomized and received either dexamethasone or placebo in addition to antibiotics. Neurobehavioral performance and biological markers of brain injury were assessed at 3 days and 9 days after randomization. In a second experiment, caspase 1 and 3 were evaluated at 6 h, 24 h, and 72 h after dexamethasone administration. Measurements and main results: Neurobehavioral performance at 3 days and 9 days was significantly improved in the dexamethasone group. Serum C-tau and cerebral edema were decreased after 3 days of dexamethasone treatment. Dexamethasone decreased Caspase 3 ac-tivation in meningitic animals. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that dexamethasone decreases acute brain injury in a rat model of bacterial meningitis as measured by preservation of neurobehavioral performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-150
Number of pages5
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Brain injury
  • Caspase
  • Meningitis
  • Neurobehavioral performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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