Cerebral protection by intermittent reperfusion during temporary focal ischemia in the rat

Carlos A. David, Ricardo Prado, W. Dalton Dietrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Temporary arterial occlusion has been routinely used as an adjunct in intracranial aneurysm surgery. This has commonly been performed using a protocol of multiple short periods of occlusion alternating with periods of restoration of normal circulation. Recently, the logical basis of this method has come under scrunity. There is extensive experimental evidence to suggest that repetitive, brief periods of global ischemia may cause more severe cerebral injury than an equivalent single period of global ischemia. Only recently has this issue begun to be addressed with regard to focal ischemia. Hence, despite the common use of temporary clipping, little experimental data are available regarding the ischemic consequences of temporary arterial occlusion with periods of reperfusion versus uninterrupted temporary occlusion. To investigate this issue, a protocol of occlusion/reperfusion that simulates the temporal profile that occurs during surgery was performed in a rat model of focal ischemia. Sixteen anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into two groups. The animals in Group I underwent 60 minutes of uninterrupted middle cerebral artery occlusion and the animals in Group II were subjected to six separate 10-minute occlusion periods with 5 minutes of reperfusion between occlusions. Histopathological analysis was performed 72 hours postischemia. Group I had significantly increased mean infarction volumes (50.0 ± 12.1 mm3) compared to Group II (8.7 ± 3.1 mm3) (p=0.008). Injuries in Group I occurred in both the cortex and striatum, whereas Group II showed only striatal injuries. Furthermore, the extent of the injuries in Group II was less severe, characterized by ischemic neuronal injury rather than frank infarction. The results indicate that intermitted reperfusion is neuroprotective during temporary focal ischemia and support the hypothesis that intermitted reperfusion is beneficial if temporary clipping is required during aneurysm repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)923-928
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1996


  • aneurysm surgery
  • cerebral ischemia
  • cerebral protection
  • rat
  • reperfusion
  • temporary clipping
  • transient focal ischemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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