Traumatic Brain Injuries – Effects of Alcohol and Coffein on Intracranial Pressure and Cerebral Blood Flow

Authors: M. Bláha;  O. Vajnerová 1;  M. Bednář 2;  L. Vajner 3;  M. Tichý
Authors‘ workplace: Neurochirurgické oddělení FN Motol, Ústav fyziologie 2. LF UK Praha, primář doc. MUDr. M. Tichý, CSc. ;  Ústav fyziologie 2. LF UK Praha, prof. MUDr. J. Herget, DrSc. 1;  Anesteziologicko-resuscitační oddělení CLINICUM a. s., Praha, primář MUDr. M. Bednář 2;  Ústav histologie a embryologie 2. LF UK Praha, doc. MVDr. L. Vajner, CSc. 3
Published in: Rozhl. Chir., 2009, roč. 88, č. 11, s. 682-686.
Category: Monothematic special - Original


Alcohol and caffeine is intermittently or regularly used by majority of people. These drugs may have acute or chronic effects on patients with traumatic brain injury. Alcohol intoxication increases cerebral blood flow from 8 to 24%. Caffeine decreases cerebral blood flow from 10 to 20%. These facts create a theoretical hypothesis that the decrease of CBF may reduce incranial pressure. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of caffeine on intracranial pressure in rats following traumatic brain injury.

Ten Wistar male rats underwent weight drop closed head injury. The second stage of the experiment was done 12 to 18 hours later. Intracranial pressure, respiration, heart rate and the mean arterial pressure was monitored. Intraperitoneal injection of caffeine (20mg/kg) was administered and repetitive measurement of vital signs and intracranial pressure was done.

The baseline ICP after head injury was 8.5 ± 2.9 mm Hg. Ten minutes after intraperitoneal caffeine administration ICP dropped to 7.6 ± 3.1 mm Hg (p < 0.05). This represents a 11% decrease from baseline value. Mean arterial pressure, respiration and heart rate were stable.

Intracranial pressure decrease of 11 % from baseline value. This drop was compatible with our hypothesis. The exact dosage of caffeine, its form and rate, should be more precisely specified in further studies.

Key words:
traumatic brain injury – caffeine – alcohol – intracranial pressure – rats


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