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J Neurol Sci. 1999 Jul 1;166(2):91-9.

Dynamics of cerebral injury, perfusion, and blood-brain barrier changes after temporary and permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion in the rat.

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Department of Radiology, Lucas MRS Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305-5488, USA.


By means of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) we longitudinally monitored the evolution of ischemic injury, changes in cerebral hemodynamics and alterations of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) during permanent or temporary middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in rats. Using the intraluminal suture occlusion model, male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to either permanent MCAO (Group A, n = 6), reperfusion after 1 h (Group B, n = 5), or reperfusion after 3 h (Group C, n = 5). Diffusion- and perfusion-weighted MRI and Gd-DTPA enhanced T1-weighted images were performed at six time points from 0.5 to 6 h post-MCAO. The lesion volume increased progressively in group A, decreased significantly in group B (P<0.01), and only showed a tendency toward reduction in group C. Perfusion-weighted MRI delineated severe perfusion deficits in the ischemic core, confirmed early and late reperfusion, and was able to demonstrate postischemic hyperperfusion in group C. Gd-DTPA extravasation was found in all animals with permanent MCAO and initially became grossly visible between 4.5 and 6 h post-MCAO. While only 2 animals demonstrated contrast enhancement in group B, widespread BBB changes were detected immediately following late reperfusion (Group C). Our results demonstrate that with advanced MRI techniques, alterations of the BBB can be correlated with the hemodynamic and biophysical consequences of reperfusion.

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