X-Message-Number: 9417
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 02:15:27 -0400 (EDT)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: CI procedures; response to Bob Ettinger

On Sun, 5 Apr 1998, Robert Ettinger wrote:

> Let me just note, in passing, that I believe CI procedures have been more open
> and publicly documented than those of other organizations, which invoke

> confidentiality, non-disclosure agreements, proprietary interest, etc. to hide
> many details; 

Absolutely untrue. The case of CryoCare's patient James Gallagher was
documented in two long instalments that appeared in CryoCare Report and
are on our web site. The documentation included huge amounts of data
ranging from a complete list of medications pre- and post-mortem, to
cooling curves and blood gas graphs--more than a dozen graphics
altogether, plus many photographs and several tables. I believe this was 
the most thoroughly documented human cryopreservation ever done.

By comparison, when CI does a case I read a few vague paragraphs couched
in generalities, and that's it. To my knowledge, not one cooling curve has
been published for any CI patient. No temperature/time data. No figure for
glycerol concentration. 

> and which have apparently used selected sample photos e.g. to
> document elevated claims. 

What claims are you referring to? All have been completely documented. As 
for nondisclosure agreements, I suggest you ask to sign one; the people 
at 21st Century Medicine have given complete information of their work to 
Alcor under this arrangement, so perhaps they would be willing to do the 
same for CI--if you are interested.

> CI on the other hand has made full sets of
> micrograms available to its severest critics.

This is deliberately misleading. I believe the pictures you are referring
to were of sheep brains. As I stated in my original message (and I note
you do not dispute this), the sheep brains were perfused with protocol
that is very different from the protocol that CI uses on human cases.
Therefore, the pictures have no relevance to human cases. 

Many excellent light and electron micrographs were published in CryoCare
Report more than two years ago, showing results of the BioPreservation
protocol on dog brains treated in exactly the same way as a human case
would be treated, including a short normothermic ischemic time. I have to
conclude, Bob, that you don't read CryoCare Report, and haven't seen our
web site. I wonder why you have not made any attempt to do so during the 
past three years.

> As to CI's current and recent procedures, Charles has it about right--and had
> no difficulty obtaining the information (again) from us. 

Another misleading statement. I had to call and ask informed questions. 
The information was not available in any CI literature. A regular CI 
member would not have known which questions to ask, or why they should be 
asked, or what the relevance of the answers would have been.

> Our current procedures are based mainly on our own work with sheep heads, and
> repetition of that work by  cryobiologists and electron microscopists in the
> Ukraine. More about that below.

"based mainly" is a misleading phrase. In fact your procedures are vitally
different from the work by Pichugin in the Ukraine, since he used
progressive concentrations of glycerol and you do not. A more accurate
statement would have been, "Our procedures are quite different from the
work of Pichugin." 

> As to osmotic damage by high concentrations of glycerine, yes, that is a

> problem; but it is not as severe a problem as Charles makes out, and trying to
> avoid it raises other and perhaps worse problems. 

What are the problems? Please be specific. If one of the world's most 
respected cryobiologists tells me that a 70% solution (by volume) of 
glycerol kills virtually all cells on contact, why would you use it under 
any circumstances? 

> We HAVE tried ramping up
> glycerine concentrations; despite the claims and reports of others, we were
> not able to get good results this way. 

This contradicts the findings of every cryobiologist who has ever written
on the subject, so far as I am aware. How can this possibly be? Why were
you not able to get "good results"? What were the precise problems? 

> (Later this year we will be starting a
> new series of trials with different ways of doing this, and hopefully better
> results.)

What is the "different way of doing this"? Bob, you complain about lack 
of specificity, but again and again I read statements from you that 
contain no specific information at all.

> Further, at one point Charles misleadingly quotes a cryobiologist on the bad
> effects of 70% glycerine ON CELLS, noting that we use 75%. But what reaches
> the vast majority of the cells is not 75%; our measurements (yes, we measured
> it) indicate that the brain concentration of glycerine is typically around
> 26%. That is well within numbers quoted in many professional papers as
> producing relatively good protection. 

As I pointed out in my post, CI's open-circuit perfusion must be
inefficient; therefore we assume that cells adjacent to capillaries will
be damaged severely by high concentrations of glycerol, but the solution
will not penetrate uniformly. Therefore, your AVERAGE concentration may be
26% (is that by weight, or by volume, incidentally, and if you don't test
venous effluent, how did you measure it?) But it is irresponsible to
suggest that all cells throughout the brain were equally protected, when
in fact I believe that some were killed by your system of perfusion, while
others received virtually no protection from freezing damage. 

Incidentally, 26% by volume is not a high number; as I said in my post
(surely you noticed?) modern procedures typically replace about 50% of
water by volume. 

> As to slow freezing in the dry ice cooling phase, and also the nitrogen
> cooling phase, we do it because otherwise (again, in our experience) faster
> cooling produces shell freezing, differential contraction, and massive
> cracking.

I have already described the effects of slow cooling to -79. They are 
severe. As I understand it, cracking should not occur until the 
temperature descends from -79 to -196. How did you become aware of 
cracking during the first cooling phase? Are you talking about human 
patients, now, or animal studies? If you do not remove the patient from 
the sleeping bag between phase 1 and phase 2 of cooldown, how do you know 
if cracking occurred, and when?

> As to why we don't drill burr holes in the patients' heads, it is because in
> our experience it is unnecessary. The brains don't swell; they shrink a bit.

The person I spoke to at CI told me that perfusion is often stopped when
edema occurs. Edema is swelling. If you were able to examine the brain
during perfusion, you would be able to see this. If you can't see the
brain, how do you know when edema is occurring? 

> As to measuring effluent concentrations of glycerine, again, we DO know what

> is happening in the body--not only from the sheep head model, but also just by
> observing the patient's skin color and texture at various locations.

Are you claiming to evaluate the actual concentration of glycerol in
tissues simply by looking at the external physical apperance of the body? 

> As to dangerous pressure spikes with roller pumps or mortician's pumps, and
> rupture of capillaries etc., that is just not observed with our procedures in
> our experience with sheep and people. 

Since you do not measure arterial pressure, how do you know?

> We are not complacent, and are committed to improvement of procedures, within
> our constraints--but only as VERIFIED evidence indicates.

Since you verified your work using a protocol that is different from the 
protocol applied to human patients, how can this prove anything?

--Charles Platt

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