Histopathological and hemodynamic consequences of complete versus incomplete ischemia in the rat.

W. D. Dietrich, R. Busto, S. Yoshida, M. D. Ginsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The primary objective of this study was to compare the histopathological consequences of complete versus incomplete ischemia under experimental conditions that limit lactate accumulation. Fasted rats underwent 1 h of either complete or incomplete ischemia by a procedure combining bilateral common carotid artery occlusion, halothane-induced systemic hypotension, and CSF pressure elevation. Histopathological outcome was evaluated 4 h later and was graded on a 4-point scale. Incomplete ischemia resulted in ischemic neuronal damage within selectively vulnerable brain regions. In contrast, complete ischemia, in addition to diffuse neuronal damage, resulted in focal sites of parenchymal necrosis with vascular stasis. Perfusion defects were detected by carbon black infusion within cortical and subcortical regions following only 25 min of complete, but not incomplete, ischemia. Ultrastructural abnormalities at the same duration of complete ischemia included a high frequency of endothelial microvilli and compressed lumina with severe perivascular astrocytic swelling. When recirculation was instituted for 1 h following 1 h of complete ischemia, regions of nonperfusion were detected autoradiographically. Thus, when the degree of lactic acidosis is controlled, prolonged periods of complete ischemia result in a more severe pathological outcome compared to incomplete ischemia. Focally impaired postischemic cerebral perfusion appears to be an important factor in infarct formation under the present experimental conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-308
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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