This study examines the relation between cerebral O2 consumption (CMRO2) and the O2 consumption of the rest of the body (BVO2) after severe head injury. Seventy nine serial measurements of whole body O2 consumption, CMRO2, plasma adrenaline, T3, and glucagon concentrations were made in 15 children with severe head injuries receiving neurointensive care. Body O2 consumption was measured with indirect calorimetry and CMRO2 with the Kety-Schmidt technique. There was no evidence of a significant relation between CMRO2 and BVO2. Within each child there were statistically significant positive relations between BVO2 and adrenaline, T3, and glucagon. By contrast, there was only a weak significant positive relation between CMRO2 and T3. In conclusion, CMRO2 and BVO2 seem to be determined independently after severe head injury. Thus therapeutic measures aiming to reduce CMRO2 need to be specific to the brain and it should not be assumed that measures which decrease whole body energy expenditure will necessarily have the same effect on CMRO2.
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