The significance of brain temperature in focal cerebral ischemia: Histopathological consequences of middle cerebral artery occlusion in the rat

E. Morikawa, M. D. Ginsberg, W. D. Dietrich, R. C. Duncan, S. Kraydieh, M. Y.T. Globus, R. Busto

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291 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of selective modulation of brain temperature in the experimental settings of permanent and reversible middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion in Sprague-Dawley rats. Three models of proximal MCA occlusion were used, in which the effect of brain-temperature modulations could be studied. These included (a) permanent MCA occlusion with an initial 30-min period of hypotension (30 or 36°C × 4 h), (b) permanent MCA occlusion alone (30, 36, or 39°C × 2 h), and (c) 2 h of reversible MCA occlusion (30, 36, or 39°C × 2 h). In the transient MCA occlusion series, intra- and postischemic cortical blood flow was assessed using a laser-Doppler flowmeter placed over the dorsolateral cortex. After a 3-day survival, all rats were perfusion fixed for histopathological analysis and the determination of infarct volume. In animals with permanent MCA occlusion plus hypotension, no significant difference in infarct volume was demonstrated between the 30 and 36°C groups. In rats with permanent MCA occlusion without hypotension, significant differences in infarct volume were again not demonstrable, but an interaction between infarct area and temperature class was shown by repeated-measures analysis, indicating that hypothermia altered the topographic pattern of the cortical infarct. With 2 h of reversible MCA occlusion, there was a statistically significant reduction in infarct volume in the 30°C group compared to 39°C rats. Although intra- and postischemic CBF were not significantly different among the three temperature groups, the cortical infarct volume was positively correlated with postischemic CBF. The postischemic CBF, in turn, was positively correlated to the intraischemic brain temperature and was negatively correlated to CBF during the ischemic period. These findings demonstrate that moderate manipulations of brain temperature have a greater influence on the resulting cortical infarction in the setting of transient focal ischemia than in the context of permanent vascular occlusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)380-389
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992


  • Cerebral hypothermia
  • Cerebroprotection
  • Doppler flowmetry
  • Hyperthermia
  • Laser
  • MCA occlusion
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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