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01.12.2016 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

Journal of Translational Medicine 1/2016

Slow induction of brain death leads to decreased renal function and increased hepatic apoptosis in rats

Journal of Translational Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2016
Rolando A. Rebolledo, Dane Hoeksma, Christina M. V. Hottenrott, Yves J. L. Bodar, Petra J. Ottens, Janneka Wiersema-Buist, Henri G. D. Leuvenink
Wichtige Hinweise
Rolando A. Rebolledo and D. Hoeksma contributed equally to this work



Donor brain death (BD) is an independent risk factor for graft survival in recipients. While in some patients BD results from a fast increase in intracranial pressure, usually associated with trauma, in others, intracranial pressure increases more slowly. The speed of intracranial pressure increase may be a possible risk factor for renal and hepatic graft dysfunction. This study aims to assess the effect of speed of BD induction on renal and hepatic injury markers.


BD induction was performed in 64 mechanically ventilated male Fisher rats by inflating a 4.0F Fogarty catheter in the epidural space. Rats were observed for 0.5, 1, 2 or 4 h following BD induction. Slow induction was achieved by inflating the balloon-catheter at a speed of 0.015 ml/min until confirmation of BD. Fast induction was achieved by inflating the balloon at 0.45 ml/min for 1 min. Plasma, kidney and liver tissue were collected for analysis.


Slow BD induction led to higher plasma creatinine at all time points compared to fast induction. Furthermore, slow induction led to increased renal mRNA expression of IL-6, and renal MDA values after 4 h of BD compared to fast induction. Hepatic mRNA expression of TNF-α, Bax/Bcl-2, and protein expression of caspase-3 was significantly higher due to slow induction after 4 h of BD compared to fast induction. PMN infiltration was not different between fast and slow induction in both renal and hepatic tissue.


Slow induction of BD leads to poorer renal function compared to fast induction. Renal inflammatory and oxidative stress markers were increased. Liver function was not affected by speed of BD induction but hepatic inflammatory and apoptosis markers increased significantly due to slow induction compared to fast induction. These results provide initial proof that speed of BD induction influences detrimental renal and hepatic processes which could signify different donor management strategies for patients progressing to BD at different speeds.
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