Improved short-term neurological recovery with flunarizine in a canine model of cardiac arrest

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      A 10-minute cardiac arrest was produced in dogs by electrical fibrillation of the heart. Recovery of cerebral function was monitored by estimating the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption (CMRO2), cerebral blood flow (CBF), electroencephalograph (EEG) and extent of neurological deficit. The study group received flunarizine (0.1 mg/kg intravenously) at the beginning of resuscitation, while control animals were given the drug vehicle. By four hours after resuscitation, CMRO2 in flunarizine-treated dogs was 121 ± 43% of pre-arrest baseline, as compared with 37 ± 9% in control animals (P < 0.02). In the flunarizine group, CBF was 83 ± 21% of baseline, while it was only 31 ± 8% in controls (P < 0.01). As compared with the control group, no other significant changes were detected in electrocardiographic, hemodynamic, or biochemical parameters in the flunarizine-treated dogs. A significant improvement in the visual EEG score (P < 0.001) and neurological deficit (P < 0.05) was seen in flunarizine-treated dogs six hours after ischemic insult.


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