Protocol of a thromboembolic stroke model in the rat: review of the experimental procedure and comparison of models

Invest Radiol. 2002 Nov;37(11):600-8. doi: 10.1097/00004424-200211000-00003.


Rationale and objective: Different models to study the pathophysiology of cerebral ischemia and to evaluate therapeutic strategies exist. Described is the detailed procedure of a thromboembolic stroke model in the rat most closely resembling human embolic stroke and compare the model to other equivalent rodent models.

Materials and methods: An evaluation of a new thromboembolic stroke model was performed on 35 male Wistar rats. After preparation of the carotid artery, a catheter was introduced into the external carotid artery. During injection of autologous, fibrin-rich emboli into the internal carotid artery the common carotid artery was temporarily occluded. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) and lesion size were determined.

Results: Twelve fibrin-rich blood clots of 1.5 mm in length were necessary in order reliably to occlude the origin of the middle cerebral artery. A stable decrease of rCBF and lesion size was confirmed by autoradiography, diffusion, and perfusion MRI, TTC-staining, biochemical imaging, and histology.

Conclusion: In this animal model, the situation of human cerebral ischemia is simulated closely. The model is suitable for investigations of the pathophysiology of stroke and facilitates studies on the effects of thrombolytic therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar