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Radiology. 2000 Apr;215(1):199-204.

Cerebral ischemic hypoxia: discrepancy between apparent diffusion coefficients and histologic changes in rats.

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Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Yushima 1-5-45, Tokyo, Japan.



To compare the apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) and histologic changes in young rats subjected to cerebral ischemic hypoxia (IH).


Fifteen 3-week-old rats were subjected to a 30-minute IH insult (unilateral common carotid arterial ligation and exposure to 8% oxygen) and were examined at diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging and light and electron microscopy on cessation of the insult (n = 5), 60 minutes after resuscitation (n = 5), or 48 hours after resuscitation (n = 5). Twelve control rats either underwent unilateral common carotid arterial ligation or were subjected to hypoxia.


The experimental rats showed primary ADC reduction during the insult, transient ADC recovery after resuscitation, and secondary ADC reduction 48 hours after the insult. Histologic examination revealed dendritic swelling and mild swelling of the perivascular astrocytic end-feet during the primary ADC reduction phase, dark neurons and pronounced swelling of the perivascular astrocytic end-feet during the transient ADC recovery phase, and severely retracted dark neurons and extensive swelling of the astrocytic end-feet during the secondary ADC reduction phase.


Transient ADC normalization after cerebral IH does not necessarily mean that histologic normalization has occurred. The transient ADC recovery phase appeared to have limited potential for neuronal salvage.

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