Reversible Middle Cerebral Artery Embolization in Dogs Without Intracranial Surgery

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Using dogs, we developed an intravascular model for reversible middle cerebral artery occlusion that does not involve intracranial surgery or enucleation. Using silicone plastic plugs with a suture embedded within them, we embolized the middle cerebral artery in 19 dogs via the cervical carotid artery. The free end of the suture remained accessible in the neck, and after variable dwell times traction was placed on the suture and the plug was withdrawn. Placement of the plug in the middle cerebral artery produced ischemia in the basal ganglia. The degree and distribution of cortical ischemia were variable as evidenced by the pathologically documented scattered nature of infarcts that resulted when the plug was left permanently in the middle cerebral artery and when it was removed after 1 or 2 hours. Angiography demonstrated occlusion of the middle cerebral artery with the plug in place as well as reperfusion when the plug was withdrawn. This modification of a previously described model of middle cerebral artery occlusion provides an opportunity to study structural, physiologic, and biochemical events occurring in acutely hypoperfused cerebral tissue as well as critical changes leading to irreversible injury without the disadvantages of surgical manipulation required by all previous models of reversible cerebral ischemia. (Stroke 1989;20:1368–1376)

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