BACKGROUND: Fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (FDP) is a high-energy intermediate that enhances glycolysis, preserves cellular adenosine triphosphate stores, and prevents the increase of intracellular calcium in ischemic tissue. Since it has been shown to provide metabolic support to the brain during ischemia, we planned this study to evaluate whether FDP is neuroprotective in the setting of combining hypothermic circulatory arrest (HCA) and irreversible embolic brain ischemic injury. METHODS: Twenty pigs were randomly assigned to receive 2 intravenous infusions of either FDP (500 mg/kg) or saline. The first infusion was given just before a 25-minute period of HCA and the second infusion immediately after HCA. Immediately before HCA, the descending aorta was clamped and 200 mg of albumin-coated polystyrene microspheres (250-750 mm in diameter) were injected into the isolated aortic arch in both study groups. RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the study groups in terms of neurological outcome. Brain lactate/pyruvate ratio was significantly lower (P = .015) and brain pyruvate levels (P = .013) were significantly higher in the FDP group compared with controls. Brain lactate levels were significantly higher 8 hours after HCA (P = .049). CONCLUSION: The administration of FDP before and immediately after HCA combined with embolic brain ischemic injury was associated with significantly lower brain lactate/pyruvate ratio and significantly higher levels of brain pyruvate, as well as lower lactate levels 8 hours after HCA. FDP seems to protect the brain by supporting energy metabolism. The neurological outcome was not improved, most likely resulting from the irreversible nature of the microsphere occlusion.