The brains of dogs subjected to total cardiac bypass were examined for early signs of ischaemic nerve cell changes. Diffuse nerve cell changes were found immediately following two- and three-hour non-pulsatile perfusions but not following pulsatile perfusions of the same durations. The nerve cell changes found in the brains were acute cell swelling and early ischaemic cell change. Acute cell swelling was found only in the cerebellar Purkinje cells. Ischaemic cell change was found in several regions of the brain but the cerebral cortex and cerebellar Purkinje cells were most frequently affected. Diffuse nerve cell changes are attributed to non-pulsatile blood flow but some complicating factors are recognized.
Focal lesions found in three brains may have been due to embolism by blood cell aggregates and/or gas microbubbles.
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