Introduction: The progress of effective therapies for stroke has become a challenging task for both researchers and clinicians. Some pitfalls in clinical trials might have their origins in the pre-clinical experimental ischaemic models for the evaluation of potential neuro-protective agents.
Methods: We aim to standardise the methods for the development of stroke animal models throughout Spain, to produce document with appropriate recommendations and best practice in order to improve experimental methods in the field of stroke research.
Results: Members of several experienced stroke research groups prepared a guide with recommendations in the application of focal cerebral ischaemic models. The main features of this guide are based on the selection of the most appropriate animal model, taking in account the objective of the study, the species, strain, age, sex of animals, as well as risk factors. The experimental design must include a sham control group and the sample size calculation. Animal randomisation and blind analysis, masked assessment of outcomes, monitoring of body temperature and cerebral blood flow, and the reporting of reasons for excluding animals from the study, as well as the mortality rate, are other main points to fulfil in the application of stroke models.
Conclusions: Standardised methods are essential to increase the success of the pre-clinical findings in the stroke neuroprotection field to be able to translate to the clinical practice.
Copyright © 2010 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.