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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1992 Jul;12(4):621-8.

The effect of hypothermia on transient middle cerebral artery occlusion in the rat.

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Department of Neurology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan 48202.


We investigated the effect of moderate whole body hypothermia (30 degrees C) on transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in the rat. Male Wistar rats were subjected to 2 h of ischemia by inserting a suture into the lumen of the internal carotid artery and occluding the origin of the MCA. Experimental groups were (a) MCAO induced at 37 degrees C body temperature (n = 15); (b) 30 degrees C body temperature induced prior to ischemia and maintained for 2 h of MCAO and 1 h of reperfusion (n = 12); and (c) MCAO with regional brain and body temperatures measured in normothermic (n = 3) and hypothermic MCAO rats (n = 2). Histopathological evaluation was performed 96 h after reperfusion. All normothermic MCAO animals exhibited ischemic infarct involving the ipsilateral cortex and basal ganglia with infiltration of neutrophils, macrophages, and microvascular proliferation. Hypothermic MCAO animals exhibited minor ischemic damage ranging from selective neuronal injury to small focal areas of infarct with minimal inflammatory response. Our data demonstrate that transient ischemia induced by using the intra-arterial suture method to occlude the MCA results in a reproducible brain lesion and that moderate hypothermia has a profound protective effect on the brain injury after transient MCAO.

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