Embolie stroke from a carotid arterial source in the rat: Pathology and clinical implications

N. Futrell, C. Millikan, B. D. Watson, W. D. Dietrich, M. D. Ginsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


We developed a new animal model of stroke which resembles human stroke more closely than existing models. We described the pathology produced in the brain following platelet embolism, previously described only in the retina. The common carotid artery of the rat was irradiated for 6.5 minutes with an argon laser at 514.5 nm after intravenous injection of a photosensitizing agent, rose bengal. A retinal embolus was seen in 1 rat 5 minutes after irradiation. A nonocclusive platelet thrombus was present in the carotid artery 50 minutes after irradiation, with almost all the platelet thrombus being cleared 24 hours later. Acute (1 to 10 days) changes in the brain included 44 small infarcts in 12/13 rats, cortical arterioles occluded with platelets and thickening of small vessels in normotensive rats. Chronic (4 to 12 weeks) changes included lacunes in the brains of normotensive rats and intimal proliferation of smooth muscle in the carotid artery. This is the 1st animal model of (1) stroke with emboli produced in vivo rather than injected into the carotid, (2) intimal proliferation of smooth muscle without invasion of the vessel, and (3) lacunes. This model provides results important to the laboratory study of stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1050-1056
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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