Magnetic resonance imaging as a surrogate measure for histological sub-chronic endpoint in a neonatal rat stroke model

Brain Res. 2005 Dec 20;1066(1-2):49-56. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2005.10.043. Epub 2005 Dec 5.


Introduction: It is becoming increasingly recognized that CNS immaturity at birth affects ischemic injury and recovery, and that the consequences of neonatal stroke need to be studied using age-appropriate focal stroke models. The inclusion of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a surrogate measure of stroke progression has provided useful information in adult models, but the benefit for neonatal stroke studies is yet to be established.

Methods: Postnatal 7-day (P7) rats were subjected to a 3-h transient occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) which was produced either by inserting a filament via the external carotid artery or via the internal carotid artery. MRI was used to delineate the size and pattern of injury acutely, during MCA occlusion, and 7 days following reperfusion.

Results: The size of the diffusion-weighted (DW) MRI-detectable injury during MCA occlusion was similar following both surgical procedures and resulted in histological lesions 7 days later in all animals. The extent of spontaneous recovery in individual animals varied substantially 7 days later within each group, as was depicted by a combination of DW- and T2W-MRI and confirmed by the corresponding histology.

Conclusions: The ability of MRI to provide accurate information on the size of histological outcome at 7 days after neonatal focal transient ischemia suggests that MRI is useful as an intermediate surrogate measure of injury progression in long-term neonatal stroke studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / physiology*
  • Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Stroke / pathology*


  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein