Transient middle cerebral artery occlusion by intraluminal suture: II. Neurological deficits, and pixel-based correlation of histopathology with local blood flow and glucose utilization

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We conducted a pixel-based analysis of the acute hemodynamic and metabolic determinants of infarctive histopathology in a reproducible model of temporary (2-hour) middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) produced in rats by an intraluminal suture. Three-dimensional averaged image data sets of local cerebral blood flow (LCBF) and glucose utilization (LCMRglc) acquired in the companion study (Belayev et al., 1997) either at the end of a 2-hour period of MCAO or after 1 hour of recirculation were comapped (using digitized atlas-templates) with data sets depicting the frequency of histological infarction in a matched animal group (n = 8) in which 2 hours of MCAO was followed by 3-day survival, sequential neuro-behavioral examinations, and perfusion-fixation and paraffin-embedding of brains for light-microscopic analysis. All rats developed marked postural-reflex and forelimb-placing deficits at 60 minutes of MCAO, signifying high-grade ischemia. Tactile placing deficits persisted during the 72-hour observation period while visual placing and postural-reflex abnormalities variably improved. Comapping of LCBF and histopathology showed that in those pixels destined to undergo infarction, LCBF measured at 2 hours of MCAO showed a sharp distributional peak centered at 0.14 mL/g/min. In 70% of pixels destined to infarct, LCBF at 2 hours of MCAO was 0.24 mL/g/min or below, and in 89% LCBF was below 0.47 mL/g/min (the upper limits of the ischemic core and penumbra, respectively, as defined in the companion study [Belayev et al., 1997]). Local cerebral glucose utilization measured at ~1 hour after 2 hours of MCAO was distributed bimodally in the previously ischemic hemisphere. The major peak, at 22 μmol/100 g/min, coincided exactly with the distribution peak of pixels destined to undergo infarction, while in pixels with a zero probability of infarction, LCMRglc was higher by 12 to 13 μmol/100 g/min. These results indicate that local blood flow at 2 hours of MCAO is a robust predictor of eventual infarction. Pixels with ischemic-core levels of LCBF (0% to 20% of control) have a 96% probability of infarction, while the fate of the penumbra is more heterogeneous: below LCBF of 0.35 mL/g/min, the probability of infarction is 92%, while approximately 20% pixels in the upper-penumbral LCBF range (30% to 40% of control) escape infarction. Our data strongly support the view that the likelihood of infarction within the ischemic penumbra is highly influenced by very subtle differences in early perfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1281-1290
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1997



  • Auto-radiography
  • Cerebral infarction
  • Focal cerebral ischemia
  • Image- processing
  • Penumbra
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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