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Stroke. 1996 Sep;27(9):1616-22; discussion 1623.

Middle cerebral artery occlusion in the rat by intraluminal suture. Neurological and pathological evaluation of an improved model.

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Department of Neurology, University of Miami School of Medicine, FL 33101, USA.



The purpose of the present study was to evaluate a modified method of intraluminal suture occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) on the volume of brain infarction and on neurobehavioral function in rats subjected to a temporary focal ischemic insult.


Male Sprague-Dawley rats were anesthetized with halothane and subjected to 60 minutes or 2 hours of temporary MCA occlusion (MCAo) by an intraluminal thread. In one group of rats, the suture was coated with poly-L-lysine, while in a second group, a conventional uncoated suture was used. Behavioral function was evaluated at 50 to 60 minutes after occlusion and during a 3-day period after MCAo. Three days after MCAo brains were perfusion-fixed and infarct volumes were measured.


In rats with 60-minute MCAo, only 3 of 7 animals with uncoated sutures had infarcts, whereas in the group with poly-L-lysine-coated sutures, all rats (n = 7) exhibited infarction (P = .009, Fisher's exact test). With 2 hours of MCAo, total infarct volume (corrected for brain edema) was significantly larger in rats with poly-L-lysine-coated sutures than in the group with uncoated sutures (mean +/- SEM, 122.1 +/- 4.8 versus 67.0 +/- 18.2 mm3, respectively; P = .03; n = 4 in each group). In the 2-hour MCAo study, infarct volumes in the uncoated-suture group tended to be variable and inconsistent (coefficient of variation, 54%) compared with the group in which sutures were coated with poly-L-lysine, in which a highly consistent infarct was produced (coefficient of variation of infarct volume, 8%).


Reversible MCAo in which a poly-L-lysine-coated intraluminal suture was used proved to be a reliable and effective modification of this technique, yielding consistently larger infarcts and greatly reduced interanimal variability.

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