BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE - High-dose human albumin is robustly neuroprotective in preclinical ischemia models and is currently in phase III clinical trial for acute ischemic stroke. To explore the hypothesis that albumin's protective effect is mediated in part by salutary intravascular mechanisms, we assessed microvascular hemodynamics in a model of laser-induced cortical arteriolar thrombosis. METHODS - The cortical microcirculation of anesthetized, physiologically monitored Sprague-Dawley rats was studied in vivo via a frontoparietal cranial window (intact dura) by two-photon laser-scanning microscopy after plasma-labeling with fluorescein-dextran. Focal thrombosis was produced in 30- to 50-μm cortical arterioles by laser irradiation. Arteriolar flow velocity was measured repeatedly by line-scanning. At 30 minutes post-thrombosis, animals were treated with either human albumin, 2 g/kg, or with saline control. RESULTS - Baseline arteriolar flow velocity averaged 3.5±1.8 mm/s and was reduced to 10% to 13% of control values by laser-induced thrombosis, which also led to focal vasodilatation (mean, 49% above baseline diameter). Saline treatment at 30 minutes post-thrombosis failed to influence arteriolar flow velocity, which remained depressed at 10% to 22% of control throughout the subsequent 60- to 90-minute observation period. By contrast, albumin treatment induced a prompt rise in median flow velocity to 38% of control by 10 minutes post-treatment, and to 61% to 67% of control by 50 to 60 minutes. CONCLUSIONS - High-dose albumin therapy induces a prompt, sustained improvement in microvascular hemodynamics distal to a cortical arteriolar thrombosis; these data support an important intravascular component to albumin's protective effect in acute cerebral ischemia.
- Flow velocity
- Thrombotic stroke
- Two-photon microscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine