Intraischemic mild hypothermia has been shown to attenuate cerebral infarction occurring after transient focal ischemia. In contrast, the capacity of mild hypothermia to provide a protective effect when administered postischemically has not been clearly defined for transient focal events such as occur in many types of stroke. The present study addressed this issue by investigating the influence of timing and duration of mild hypothermia on cerebral infarction in a rat model of reversible focal ischemia. Sprague-Dawley rats ( n = 45 ) were subjected to 3 h of focal neocortical ischemia by occluding reversibly one middle cerebral artery and both carotid arteries. Mild hypothermia was established after reperfusion and maintained for brief (1 h) or prolonged (21 h) periods. Animals were sacrificed 24 or 48 h after ischemia. A significant reduction (32%) in the volume of infarction was obtained when hypothermia was established immediately after reperfusion and maintained for a prolonged (21 h) period. In contrast, immediate but brief (1 h) hypothermia did not reduce infarction volume. Delaying hypothermia until 30 min post reperfusion and maintaining it for 21 h reduced infarction volume by 22%; however, this effect did not achieve statistical significance. These findings demonstrate that mild postischemic hypothermia is capable of protecting against cerebral injury following transient focal ischemia but that prolonged hypothermia is required to achieve this effect. These findings are consistent with increasing evidence that the window of therapeutic opportunity after transient focal ischemia is rather brief and that critical mechanisms involved in this form of ischemic injury remain activated over a rather lengthy postischemic interval.
Brain Research – Elsevier
Published: Apr 29, 1996
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