Susceptibility to Cerebral Infarction in the Stroke-Prone Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat Is Inherited as a Dominant Trait

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Abstract

Background and Purpose

Susceptibility to cerebral infarction was compared in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive (SHRSP), normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats, and F1 hybrids derived from a SHRSP/WKY cross.

Methods

The proximal left middle cerebral artery (MCA) was occluded under anesthesia and infarct volume assessed 24 hours later by magnetic resonance imaging and confirmed 5 days later by quantitative histopathology. Total hemispheric infarct volume was expressed as a percentage of the total brain volume.

Results

Infarct volumes measured by MRI in adult SHRSP (19.5 +/- 2.0%) and F1 hybrid rats (19.4 +/- 1.9%) were significantly greater than in WKY (11.1 +/- 2.4; CI [6.07, 10.76]) and (5.93, 10.52), respectively, P<.001). Sensitivity to an ischemic insult was unrelated to blood pressure: although systolic blood pressures differed between young versus adult male SHRSP and between female versus male SHRSP and F1 hybrids, infarct volumes were equal. A close correlation was found between infarct volumes measured by MRI and histology (r=.92, P<.0001).

Conclusions

Outcome to MCA occlusion (MCAO) measured with MRI provides a reproducible and nonterminal quantitative phenotypic marker of stroke susceptibility in the SHRSP. This is the first study to employ MCAO with MRI to quantify stroke susceptibility in F1 hybrid rats and indicates a dominant mode of inheritance for this phenotype. (Stroke. 1998;29:690-694.)

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