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Sewer-gas-induced suspended animation is rapid and reversible
Date:3/24/2008

dy temperatures from dropping.

In all the mice, metabolic measurements such as consumption of oxygen and production of carbon dioxide dropped in as little as 10 minutes after they began inhaling hydrogen sulfide, remained low as long as the gas was administered, and returned to normal within 30 minutes of the resumption of a normal air supply. The animals heart rate dropped nearly 50 percent during hydrogen sulfide adminstration, but there was no significant change in blood pressure or the strength of the heart beat. While respiration rate also decreased, there were no changes in blood oxygen levels, suggesting that vital organs were not at risk of oxygen starvation.

The mice kept at room temperature had the same drop in body temperature seen in earlier studies, but those in the warm environment maintained normal body temperatures. The same metabolic and cardiovascular changes were seen in both groups, indicating that they did not depend on the reduced body temperature, and analyzing the timing of those changes showed that metabolic reduction actually began before body temperature dropped.

Producing a reversible hypometabolic state could allow organ function to be preserved when oxygen supply is limited, such as after a traumatic injury, says Gian Paolo Volpato, MD, MGH Anesthesiology research fellow and lead author of the study. We dont know yet if these results will be transferable to humans, so our next step will be to study the use of hydrogen sulfide in larger mammals.

Zapol adds, It could be that inhaled hydrogen sulfide will only be useful in small animals and well need to use intravenous drugs that can deliver hydrogen sulfide to vital organs to prevent lung toxicity in larger animals. Zapol is the Reginald Jenney Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School.


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Contact: Sue McGreevey
smcgreevey@partners.org
617-724-2764
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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