Cerebral atheroembolism. An animal model.

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Human atheromatous material was injected into the cerebral vasculature of anaesthetized rabbits via the left common carotid artery. The lethality of varying dosages was determined and the distribution and general character of occlusive vascular lesions which developed were analyzed by light and transmission electron microscopy. It was found that a dose exceeding 55 mg of the atheromatous material (125 mg/ml saline) was lethal in New Zealand white male rabbits weighing between 3 and 5 kg. In nonsurviving animals, parts of the Circle of Willis and usually one or more of its major tributaries were occluded. Some surviving animals exhibited signs of neurologic deficit evidenced by motor dysfunction. Occlusive vascular lesions found in surviving animals were predominantly localized in ipsilateral cortical and subcortical vessels within the distribution territory of the middle cerebral artery. The character of occlusive lesions showed strong evidence of thrombosis. These results demonstrated that this experimental system may be useful as a model for the study of blood-atheroembolic vascular reactions, cerebral infarction development and the testing of agents potentially prophylactic against the development or stabilization of occlusive lesions.

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