Morphological consequences of early reperfusion following thrombotic or mechanical occlusion of the rat middle cerebral artery

W. D. Dietrich, H. Nakayama, B. D. Watson, H. Kanemitsu

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40 Scopus citations


The early morphological consequences of recirculation following middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion were studied in two rat models. The proximal MCA was occluded for 1 h by either a surgical clip or platelet thrombus; subsequently, 1 h of recirculation was facilitated. Following clip occlusion and recirculation, mild astrocytic swelling, especially around blood vessels, was detected in reperfused cortical and striatal areas. Neuronal changes included slight chromatin clumping and dilation of the rough endoplasmic reticulum. In contrast, severe structural abnormalities were detected following recanalization of the thrombosed MCA segment. Marked astrocytic swelling of cell bodies and perivascular processes with neuropil vacuolation were commonly seen. A heterogeneous pattern of neuronal alterations, including a high frequency of dense shrunken neurons surrounded by swollen astrocytic processes was documented in cortical and striatal regions. Severe neuronal changes were documented in brain regions exhibiting a wellperfused microcirculation. Vascular endothelial cells contained large numbers of pinocytotic vesicles associated with luminal and abluminal surfaces. Pronounced and rapid morphological changes evolve with reperfusion when thrombotic and ischemic events occur simultaneously. The basis for these rapid parenchymal changes following vascular thrombosis may involve acute alterations in cerebral microvascular permeability which exacerbate ischemic consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-614
Number of pages10
JournalActa neuropathologica
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1989


  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Ischemia
  • Middle cerebral artery occlusion
  • Thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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