Experimental research on the therapeutic effect of alcohol on acute spinal cord decompression sickness in rabbits

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Author:
ZHANG Jin-cheng(Department of Hyperbaric Oxygen, Shanghai Sixth People 's Hospital Affiliated to the Shanghai Jiaotong University,Shanghai 200233, China)
FU Min(Department of Hyperbaric Oxygen, Shanghai Sixth People 's Hospital Affiliated to the Shanghai Jiaotong University,Shanghai 200233, China)
ZHANG Lu-di(Department of Hyperbaric Oxygen, Shanghai Sixth People 's Hospital Affiliated to the Shanghai Jiaotong University,Shanghai 200233, China)
ZHAO Hui(Department of Hyperbaric Oxygen, Shanghai Sixth People 's Hospital Affiliated to the Shanghai Jiaotong University,Shanghai 200233, China)
WEI Xiao-er()
Journal Title:
Chinese Journal of Nautical Medicine and Hyperbaric Medicine
Issue:
Volume 18, Issue 05, 2011
DOI:
10.3760/cma.j.issn.1009-6906.2011.05.002
Key Word:
Alcohol;Acute spinal cord decompression sickness;Magnetic resonance imaging;Spinal cord evoked potential;Histopathology

Abstract: Objective To investigate the therapeutic effect of alcohol on the treatment of acute spinal cord decompression sickness in rabbits.Methods Fifty-eight healthy New Zealand rabbits were randomly divided into 3 groups:the alcohol group ( group A,n =25 ),the saline solution group ( group B,n =20) and the control group ( group C,n =13).Rabbits in the animal chamber were pressurized with compressed air to a pressure of 0.6 MPa in 15 min,stayed at the said pressure for 60 min,then,were decompressed to atmospheric pressure with linear speed in 5 min.The model of acute spinal cord decompression sickness was successfully developed in 31 animals,of which 15 animals were in group A,8 animals in group B and another 8 animals in group C.The rabbits in group A were injected 25% alcoholic solution (3 ml/kg) through the ear vein 30 min after decompression ; the animals in group B were treated with 3 ml/kg normal saline instead,while the rabbits in group C were left without any treatment.Spinal cord evoked potential (SCEP),magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and Tarlov behavior scores were measured to assess motor neurologic function before compression and 3 days after decompression.All the animals were sacrificed,samples of spiral cord were taken from the animals of each group and HE staining was made for light microscopy.Results ( 1 ) Tarlov behavior scores:group A,4.31 ± 0.63 ; B group,1.25 ± 0.50 ( compared with group A,P < 0.01 ) ; group C,1.20 ± 0.83 ( compared with group A,P <0.01 ).(2) MRI:animals in group A displayed mild swelling in thoracolumbar cord; animals in group B and C displayed moderate swelling,with normal morphology of spinal cord disappeared below the level of thoracolumbar cord and focal and diffuse hyper-intensity could be seen in the spinal cord on T2W images.(3) SCEP:for group A,no significant changes could be noted in the latency and amplitude of N21,3 days after decompression; for group B and group C,the latency of N21 delayed obviously 3 days after decompression,when it was compared with that before compression( P < 0.01 ),and the amplitude of N21 also decreased obviously (P <0.01 ).(4) Group A:under the light microscope,HE staining revealed that there were only little sporadic hemorrhage and inflammatory infiltration in the spinal cord.Group B and group C:urine retention and intestinal tympanites could be observed,in addition,under the light microscope,local haemorrhage,extensive congestion and inflammatory cell infiltration could be observed in the spinal cord.Conclusions Alcohol treatment seemed to be a quick and effective method for the treatment of acute spinal cord decompression sickness.

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