Brain Protection by Barbiturate After Head Injury? Clinical and Experimental Results

  • M. Sold
  • M. R. Gaab
  • B. Poch
  • V. Heller


Barbiturates have been shown to exhibit a potentially beneficial effect in different models of cerebral ischemia, focal insult, and head trauma with raised intracranial pressure. Although the mechanism of action is not yet fully understood, it seems probable that “protection” is the consequence of the depression of functional metabolism of the nerve cells, thus not comparable to the true protection observed under hypothermia, and it is logical to assume that this unspecific effect may also be observed when using other drugs that equally depress CMRO2 and CBF, such as althesin or etomidate. The subject of this article are clinical and experimental aspects of barbiturates in head trauma, especially their effect on intracranial pressure (ICP) and the development of brain edema.


Intracranial Pressure Head Trauma Brain Edema Intracranial Hypertension Cerebral Blood Volume 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Sold
    • 1
  • M. R. Gaab
    • 1
  • B. Poch
    • 1
  • V. Heller
    • 1
  1. 1.Abteilung für AnästhesieLuitpoldkrankenhausWürzburgGemany

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