Effects of indomethacin on cardiac output distribution in normal and asphyxiated piglets

Charles W. Leffler, David W. Busija, Donathan G. Beasley, Anthony M. Fletcher, Robert S. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


We determined the effect of breathing 9% CO2/10% O2/81% N2 (asphyxia) on cardiac output distribution (microspheres) in 4-5 day old unanesthetized, chronically instrumented piglets prior to and following intravenous indomethacin administration. Thirty minutes of asphyxia caused PaCO2 to increase from 35 ± 2 mmHg to 66 ± 2 mmHg, PaO2 to decrease form 73 ± 4 mmHg to 41 ± 1 mmHg, and pH to decrease from 7.52 ± 0.05 to 7.21 ± 0.07. Arterial pressure was increased slightly but cardiac output was not changed significantly. Asphyxia caused blood flow to the brain, diaphragm, liver, heart, and adrenal glands to increase while causing decreases in blood flow to the skin, small intestine, and colon. Blood flows to the stomach and kidneys tended to decrease, but the changes were not significant. Treatment with indomethacin during asphyxia did not alter arterial pressure or cardiac output but decreased cerebral blood flow to the preasphyxiated level and decreased adrenal blood flow about 20%. Indomethacin did not alter blood flow to any other systemic organ. At this time the piglet was allowed to breathe air for 2.5 hr undisturbed. Two and a half hours after indomethacin administration, blood flows to all organs returned to the preasphyxia control levels with the exception of cerebral blood flow which was reduced (93 ± 13 to 65 ± 5 ml/100 g·min. Three hours after indomethacin administration, the cerebral hyperemia caused by asphyxia was less (134 ± 17b ml/100 g·min) than prior to indomethacin (221 ± 15 ml/100 g·min. Indomethacin did not alter the asphyxia-induced changes to any other systemic organ. We conclude that in newborn pigs, systemic treatment with indomethacin decreases cerebral blood flow and cerebral hyperemia in response to asphyxia, without affecting blood flow to any other systemic organ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-190
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1986
Externally publishedYes


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