CSF obtained for clinical purposes from newborn, children and adults has been analysed by high pressure liquid chromatography for hypoxanthine, xanthine, inosine, uridine and urate. Large rises in hypoxanthine and to a lesser extent xanthine occur for about 24 h after hypoxia. High concentrations were associated with later evidence of brain damage or subsequent death. Changes in CSF could be independent of those in plasma. Small or negligible rises were associated with localised and generalised infections including bacterial meningitis, fits, or both. Marked and rapid rises were found after death. These estimations may "predict" the extent of brain damage or brain death.
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