A new model of embolic stroke produced by photochemical injury to the carotid artery in the rat

Nancy Futrell, Brant D. Watson, W. Dalton Dietrich, Ricardo Prado, Clark Millikan, Myron D. Ginsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


We report a new model of embolic stroke in the rat, based on endothelial disruption and platelet aggregation in the carotid artery, which leads to distal embolization and focal brain infarction. The common carotid artery was irradiated for 6.5 minutes with the focused beam of an argon laser operated at a wavelength of 514.5 nm with a peak power of 2 W and an average power of 400 mw. Ipsilateral cerebral infarcts, ranging in size from 0.1 to 1.7 mm, were produced by platelet emboli in 12 of 13 rats. A total of 44 infarcts were observed in the 12 rats: 29 in the cortex, 6 in the hippocampus, 5 in the thalamus, and 4 in the basal ganglia. Scanning electron microscopy identified platelet aggregates in the carotid artery and in a deep cortical arteriole 50 minutes after the photochemical lesion. Twenty-four hours after the experiment, scanning electron microscopy of the carotid artery revealed damaged endothelium but few remaining adherent platelets. More intense laser irradiation in 8 rats, leading to carotid occlusion, produced an infarct in only 1. This new model can be used to study the acute and chronic pathological changes in the brain associated with platelet embolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-257
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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