Endothelin-1 is a powerful vasoconstrictor (narrows blood vessels) that can affect the brain for long periods of time after a brain injury. A recent study looked at the effects of this increase in endothelin-1 on outcome in pediatric traumatic brain injury. Additionally, the research team wanted to determine if therapeutic hypothermia affected outcome in relation to endothelin-1.
Levels of endothelin-1 were significantly higher in children with brain injuries than those without, and were associated with an unfavorable outcome. After comparing children who received hypothermia early after injury to those who did not, the study found that there was no difference in levels of endothelin-1. Therapeutic hypothermia therefore remains a controversial therapy for pediatric brain injury patients.
Salonia R, Empey PE, Poloyac SM, et al. Endothelin-1 is increased in cerebrospinal fluid and associated with unfavorable outcomes in children after severe traumatic brain injury. Journal of Neurotrauma. (October 2010).