An improved photochemical model of embolic cerebral infarction in rats

Stroke. 1991 Feb;22(2):225-32. doi: 10.1161/01.str.22.2.225.


To provide further evidence that the multiple cerebral infarcts found in rats following photochemical damage to the carotid artery are caused by emboli and to eliminate the systemic hypotension and heating of the blood reported with the previous photochemical embolic stroke model (rose bengal and a green laser), I have modified the photochemical technique. Brain pathology was studied in 18 Wistar rats following carotid artery irradiation with a red laser (632 nm) at powers ranging from 100 to 800 mW/cm2 for 10 or 20 minutes following the injection of the photosensitizing dye Photofrin II. Multiple cerebral arterioles were occluded by platelet aggregates containing frequent erythrocytes and leukocytes, identical to the thrombotic material in the carotid artery but different from the platelet aggregates seen in the carotid artery and the brain in the rose bengal model. Eighty infarcts were distributed randomly throughout the brain ipsilateral to the nonocclusive carotid thrombus. Significant heating (0.5 degree C or more) of the blood occurred only with laser powers higher (1,600 mW/cm2) or laser irradiations longer (25 minutes) than those used in the improved model of embolic stroke. This model mimics one mechanism of stroke in humans and provides a means to study systematically the morphological evolution of small cerebral infarcts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Temperature
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / pathology
  • Cerebral Infarction / chemically induced*
  • Cerebral Infarction / pathology
  • Cerebral Infarction / physiopathology
  • Dihematoporphyrin Ether
  • Hematoporphyrins*
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / chemically induced*
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / pathology
  • Intracranial Embolism and Thrombosis / physiopathology
  • Lasers*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains


  • Hematoporphyrins
  • Dihematoporphyrin Ether