Hypertonic saline resuscitation of head injury: Effects on cerebral water content

David H Wisner, L. Schuster, C. Quinn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Ideal resuscitation would simultaneously replete intravascular volume and minimize cerebral edema. We assessed the effects of hypertonic saline (HS) shock resuscitation on cerebral edema after head injury. Rats were subjected to hemorrhagic shock (40 mm Hg for 1 hour) in the presence or absence of mechanical brain injury, followed by 1 hour of resuscitation with either hypertonic saline (6.5%) or lactated Ringer's (LR). After resuscitation, animals were sacrificed and brain water contents determined. Results: Less HS than LR was needed for resuscitation both in animals without brain injury (7 ± 2 ml/kg vs. 97 ± 16 ml/kg; p < 0.0003) and with brain injury (10 ± 1 ml/kg vs. 68 ± 6 ml/kg; p < 0.0001). Brain water content (ml H2O/gm dry wt) after HS resuscitation was decreased compared to LR resuscitation in animals without brain injury (3.36 ± 0.12 vs. 3.74 ± 0.08; p < 0.025) and in the uninjured hemisphere of head-injured animals (3.29 ± 0.11 vs. 3.78 ± 0.09; p < 0.025). Brain water content was increased in injured brain in both resuscitation groups, but the increase was the same (HS 4.10 ± 0.13; LR 4.25 ± 0.17; p > 0.05). Conclusions: HS resuscitation of hemorrhagic shock decreases brain water content in uninjured but not injured brain. HS may be useful in resuscitation of combined hemorrhagic shcok and head injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-78
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Trauma
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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