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Transl Stroke Res. 2011 Jun;2(2):138-43. doi: 10.1007/s12975-011-0067-3. Epub 2011 Feb 12.

Are Underlying Assumptions of Current Animal Models of Human Stroke Correct: from STAIRs to High Hurdles?


Animal models of acute ischemic stroke have been criticized for failing to translate to human stroke. Nevertheless, animal models are necessary to improve our understanding of stroke pathophysiology and to guide the development of new stroke therapies. The rabbit embolic clot model is one animal model that has led to an effective therapy in human acute ischemic stroke, namely tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). We propose that potential compounds that demonstrate efficacy in non-rabbit animal models of acute ischemic stroke should also be tested in the rabbit embolic blood clot model and, where appropriate, compared to tPA prior to investigation in humans. Furthermore, the use of anesthesia needs to be considered as a major confounder in animal models of acute ischemic stroke, and death should be included as an outcome measure in animal stroke studies. These steps, along with the current STAIRs recommendations, may improve the successful translation of experimental therapies to clinical stroke treatments.

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