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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2011 Feb;31(2):580-92. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2010.128. Epub 2010 Aug 11.

Distinct spatiotemporal patterns of spreading depolarizations during early infarct evolution: evidence from real-time imaging.

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Max Planck Institute for Neurological Research, Cologne, Germany.


Experimental and clinical studies indicate that waves of cortical spreading depolarization (CSD) appearing in the ischemic penumbra contribute to secondary lesion growth. We used an embolic stroke model that enabled us to investigate inverse coupling of blood flow by laser speckle imaging (CBF(LSF)) to CSD as a contributing factor to lesion growth already in the early phase after arterial occlusion. Embolization by macrospheres injected into the left carotid artery of anesthetized rats reduced CBF(LSF) in the territories of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) (8/14 animals), the posterior cerebral artery (PCA) (2/14) or in less clearly defined regions (4/14). Analysis of MCA occlusions (MCAOs) revealed a first CSD wave starting off during ischemic decline at the emerging core region, propagating concentrically over large portions of left cortex. Subsequent recurrent waves of CSD did not propagate concentrically but preferentially circled around the ischemic core. In the vicinity of the core region, CSDs were coupled to waves of predominantly vasoconstrictive CBF(LSF) responses, resulting in further decline of CBF in the entire inner penumbra and in expansion of the ischemic core. We conclude that CSDs and corresponding CBF responses follow a defined spatiotemporal order, and contribute to early evolution of ischemic territories.

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