Author(s): Amiridze N, Gullapalli R, Hoffman G, Darwish R
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: Basilar artery thrombosis remains a significant clinical problem, and no reproducible animal model has been established to study the stroke within the vertebrobasilar distribution. We report a study designed to pilot test a novel model of brainstem stroke in rabbits, created by selective endovascular occlusion of the basilar artery. METHODS: Basilar artery occlusion was induced in 8 New Zealand white rabbits by injection of the autologous clot through the microcatheter positioned within the distal vertebral artery. Animals were divided into subgroups (I and II) based on the length of produced ischemia (3 and 6 hours, respectively). Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the brain and MR angiography of the intracranial vessels were performed before the procedure, and at 3 hours after induced ischemia for groups I and II, with continued imaging up to 6 hours for group II, with diffusion-weighted images acquired approximately every 30 minutes. Animals were killed at the end of the 3-hour (group I) or 6-hour (group II) ischemia time. RESULTS: Brainstem stroke was successfully induced in all animals, with pathological changes documented in all cases. The earliest changes of ischemia on MR diffusion-weighted images were identified at only 4.5 hours of basilar artery occlusion. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that a reproducible model of brainstem stroke can be induced in rabbits using selective endovascular occlusion of the basilar artery. The availability of such a model, integrated with state-of-the-art imaging techniques, holds promise for preclinical investigations of emergent therapeutic approaches in stroke.
This article was published in J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Case Reports