Introduction: Brain damage is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in cardiac arrest victims. The aim of the present study was to determine whether administration of magnesium during cardiopulmonary resuscitation would improve post-resuscitation cerebral injury, as indicated by cerebral ischaemia markers and neurological alertness score.
Methods: Ventricular fibrillation was induced in 24 piglets, left untreated for 5 min before attempting resuscitation. Animals were randomised into 2 groups to receive saline as placebo + adrenaline (Group A) or magnesium sulphate + adrenaline (Group B) during cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Blood samples were collected in the post-resuscitation phase to measure NSE and S-100. Neurological alertness score was assessed 48h after the return of spontaneous circulation.
Results: S-100 and NSE values increased significantly in all resuscitated animals in the observation phase. However, S- 100 and NSE values in Group B were statistically lower than those measured in Group A during the whole postresuscitation period. Neurological outcome was better in Group B animals.
Conclusion: Magnesium may exert neuroprotective effects in cerebral ischaemia, caused by experimental cardiac arrest.