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Performing Permanent Distal Middle Cerebral with Common Carotid Artery Occlusion in Aged Rats to Study Cortical Ischemia with Sustained Disability

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Christina Wayman, Denise A Duricki, Lisa A Roy, Barbara Haenzi, Shi-Yen Tsai, Gwendolyn Kartje, John S Beech, Diana Cash, Lawrence Moon

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number108
Published23 Feb 2016


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    Uploaded date:16 Mar 2016

    Version:Final published version

King's Authors


Stroke typically occurs in elderly people with a range of comorbidities including carotid (or other arterial) atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. Accordingly, when evaluating therapies for stroke in animals, it is important to select a model with excellent face validity. Ischemic stroke accounts for 80% of all strokes, and the majority of these occur in the territory of the middle cerebral artery (MCA), often inducing infarcts that affect the sensorimotor cortex, causing persistent plegia or paresis on the contralateral side of the body. We demonstrate in this video a method for producing ischemic stroke in elderly rats, which causes sustained sensorimotor disability and substantial cortical infarcts. Specifically, we induce permanent distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in elderly female rats by using diathermy forceps to occlude a short segment of this artery. The carotid artery on the ipsilateral side to the lesion was then permanently occluded and the contralateral carotid artery was transiently occluded for 60 min. We measure the infarct size using structural T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 24 hr and 8 weeks after stroke. In this study, the mean infarct volume was 4.5% ± 2.0% (standard deviation) of the ipsilateral hemisphere at 24 hr (corrected for brain swelling using Gerriet's equation, n = 5). This model is feasible and clinically relevant as it permits the induction of sustained sensorimotor deficits, which is important for the elucidation of pathophysiological mechanisms and novel treatments.

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