Background: Compromised cerebral energy metabolism is common in patients with bacterial meningitis. In this study, simultaneous measurements of cerebral oxygen tension and lactate/pyruvate ratio were compared to explore whether disturbed energy metabolism was usually caused by insufficient tissue oxygenation or compromised oxidative metabolism of pyruvate indicating mitochondrial dysfunction. Subject and Methods: Ten consecutive patients with severe streptococcus meningitis were included in this prospective cohort study. Intracranial pressure, brain tissue oxygen tension (PbtO 2 ), and energy metabolism (intracerebral microdialysis) were continuously monitored in nine patients. A cerebral lactate/pyruvate (LP) ratio <30 was considered indicating normal oxidative metabolism, LP ratio >30 simultaneously with pyruvate below lower normal level (70 µmol/L) was interpreted as biochemical indication of ischemia, and LP ratio >30 simultaneously with a normal or increased level of pyruvate was interpreted as mitochondrial dysfunction. The biochemical variables were compared with PbtO 2 simultaneously monitored within the same cerebral region. Results: In two cases, the LP ratio was normal during the whole study period and the simultaneously monitored PbtO 2 was 18 ± 6 mm Hg. In six cases, interpreted as mitochondrial dysfunction, the simultaneously monitored PbtO 2 was 20 ± 6 mm Hg and without correlation with the LP ratio. In one patient, exhibiting a pattern interpreted as ischemia, PbtO 2 decreased below 10 mm Hg and a correlation between LP and PbtO 2 was observed. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that compromised cerebral energy metabolism, evidenced by increased LP ratio, was common in patients with severe bacterial meningitis while not related to insufficient tissue oxygenation.
- bacterial meningitis
- cerebral tissue oxygenation
- intracerebral microdialysis
- intracranial pressure, ischemia
- mitochondrial dysfunction