Dorsal Spinal Venous Occlusion in the Rat

Alberto Martinez-Arizala, R. Joseph Mora, Parley W. Madsen, Barth A. Green, Nariyuki Hayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Occlusion of the major components of the spinal venous system is usually associated with spinal arteriovenous malformations or systemic thrombophlebitis. Although spinal venous system dysfunction has been implicated in compressive cord syndromes, myelopathies from decompression sickness, and spinal cord trauma, its pathophysiology remains unclear. To characterize disorders associated with spinal venous occlusion, we developed a model in the rat produced by focally coagulating the dorsal spinal vein transdurally at the T7 and T10 vertebral levels. Following such occlusion, venous stasis, sludging and perivascular hemorrhages in the small venous branches were observed. By 1 week postocclusion, animals developed hindlimb paralysis from which they partially recovered over time. Histologic examination in the acute phase disclosed tissue necrosis, edema, and hemorrhages predominantly in the dorsal aspect of the spinal cord. This was gradually replaced by an intense macrophagic infiltration and the partial formation of a cystic cavity by 1 month. These findings indicate that dorsal spinal vein occlusion in the rat causes significant neurologic and pathologic alterations. We conclude that this procedure produces a relevant animal model for the study of the pathophysiology of spinal venous occlusion, and it allows the characterization of its effects on spinal cord blood flow, the blood-spinal cord barrier, and the development of edema independent of cord compression. Our findings in this model provide an insight into one of the mechanisms of injury extension in spinal cord trauma and other disorders associated with spinal venous dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-208
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of neurotrauma
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1995


  • rat
  • spinal cord disorders
  • spinal cord injury
  • spinal cord veins
  • venous infarction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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