MK-801, an excitatory amino acid antagonist, does not improve neurologic outcome following cardiac arrest in cats

J. E. Fleischer, A. Tateishi, J. C. Drummond, M. S. Scheller, M. R. Grafe, M. H. Zornow, G. T. Shearman, H. M. Shapiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The excitatory amino antagonist MK-801 was administered to cats following resuscitation from cardiac arrest to evaluate its effect on neurologic and neuropathologic outcome in a clinically relevant model of complete cerebral ischemia. In 29 cats studied, cardiac arrest (ventricular fibrillation) was maintained for 18 min and resuscitation was successfully performed in 21 cats. Four animals underwent a sham arrest. MK-801 or placebo was administered in a blinded, randomized manner. Beginning at 5 min post resuscitation (PR), MK-801 330 μg/kg over 2 min followed by 73 μg/kg/h for 10 h or the same volume of placebo was administered. Resuscitated animals remained paralyzed and sedated in an intensive care setting for 24-30 h PR; Neurologic examinations were performed at 2, 4, and 7 days PR by observers blinded to the treatment groups. Seventeen cats were entered into data analysis (nine MK-801-treated and eight placebo-treated). MK-801-treated animals had a significantly greater neurologic deficit score (NDS) rank (0 = normal, 100 = brain death) 2 days PR (mean rank 12.1 vs. 5.6; p = 0.008). This difference is most likely due to ongoing sedative actions of MK-801. There were no significant differences in NDS rank at 4 (10.3, MK-801 vs. 7.5, placebo) and 7 (9.6, MK-801 vs. 8.3, placebo) days PR. There were no significant differences in frontal cortex, hippocampus, occipital cortex, or cerebellar neuropathology between groups. Sham-arrested cats had normal neurologic and neuropathologic evaluations. In the circumstance of complete cerebral ischemia as employed in the current study, MK-801 had no beneficial effect upon neurologic or neuropathologic outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-804
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • MK-801
  • N-methyl-D-aspartate
  • cardiac arrest
  • cerebral ischemia
  • cerebral protection
  • excitatory amino acid antagonist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'MK-801, an excitatory amino acid antagonist, does not improve neurologic outcome following cardiac arrest in cats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this