The goal of this study was to develop a clinically relevant non-human primate (baboon) stroke model and multi-parametric MRI protocols on a clinical scanner with long-term goals to better model human stroke and facilitate clinical translations of novel therapeutic strategies. Baboons were chosen because of their relatively large brain volume and that they are evolutionarily close to humans. Middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) was induced using a minimally invasive endovascular approach to guide an inflatable balloon catheter into the MCA and followed by permanently or transiently inflate the balloon. Using multimodal MRI, including perfusion and diffusion imaging, the spatiotemporal dynamic evolution of the ischemic lesions in permanent and transient occlusion experiments in baboons were investigated. Perfusion-diffusion mismatch, which approximates the ischemic penumbra, was detected. In the permanent MCAO group (n = 2), the mean infarct volume was 29 ml (17% of total brain volume) whereas in the transient MCAO group (n = 2, 60 or 90 min of occlusion), the mean infarct volume was 15 ml (9% of total brain volume). Substantial perfusion-diffusion mismatch tissue (~50%) was salvaged by reperfusion compared to permanent MCAO. This baboon stroke model has the potential to become a translational platform to better design clinical studies, guide clinical diagnosis and improve treatment time windows in patients.
Keywords: Penumbra; cerebral ischemia; diffusion; magnetic resonance imaging.; middle cerebral artery occlusion; nonhuman primate; perfusion.