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J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2012 Apr;32(4):612-27. doi: 10.1038/jcbfm.2012.8. Epub 2012 Feb 1.

A critical appraisal of experimental intracerebral hemorrhage research.

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Department of Physical Therapy, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


The likelihood of translating therapeutic interventions for stroke rests on the quality of preclinical science. Given the limited success of putative treatments for ischemic stroke and the reasons put forth to explain it, we sought to determine whether such problems hamper progress for intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Approximately 10% to 20% of strokes result from an ICH, which results in considerable disability and high mortality. Several animal models reproduce ICH and its underlying pathophysiology, and these models have been widely used to evaluate treatments. As yet, however, none has successfully translated. In this review, we focus on rodent models of ICH, highlighting differences among them (e.g., pathophysiology), issues with experimental design and analysis, and choice of end points. A Pub Med search for experimental ICH (years: 2007 to 31 July 2011) found 121 papers. Of these, 84% tested neuroprotectants, 11% tested stem cell therapies, and 5% tested rehabilitation therapies. We reviewed these to examine study quality (e.g., use of blinding procedures) and choice of end points (e.g., behavioral testing). Not surprisingly, the problems that have plagued the ischemia field are also prevalent in ICH literature. Based on these data, several recommendations are put forth to facilitate progress in identifying effective treatments for ICH.

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