Local Saline Infusion into Ischemic Territory Induces Regional Brain Cooling and Neuroprotection in Rats with Transient Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion

Yuchuan Ding, Jie Li, Xiaodong Luan, Qin Lai, James P. McAllister, John W. Phillis, Justin C. Clark, Murali Guthikonda, Fernando G. Diaz, J. Mocco, E. Sander Connolly, J. Max Findlay, R. Loch Macdonald, Gabriele Schackert, Murat Gunel

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83 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The neuroprotective effect of hypothermia has long been recognized. Use of hypothermia for stroke therapy, which is currently being induced by whole-body surface cooling, has been limited primarily because of management problems and severe side effects (e.g., pneumonia). The goal of this study was to determine whether local infusion of saline into ischemic territory could induce regional brain cooling and neuroprotection. METHODS: A novel procedure was used to block the middle cerebral artery of rats for 3 hours with a hollow filament and locally infuse the middle cerebral artery-supplied territory with 6 mi cold saline (20°C) for 10 minutes before reperfusion. RESULTS: The cold saline infusion rapidly and significantly reduced temperature in cerebral cortex from 37.2 ± 0.1 to 33.4 ± 0.4°C and in striatum from 37.5 ± 0.2 to 33.9 ± 0.4°C. The significant hypothermia remained for up to 60 minutes after reperfusion. Significant (P < 0.01) reductions in infarct volume (approximately 90%) were evident after 48 hours of reperfusion. In ischemic rats that received the same amount of cold saline systemically through a femoral artery, a mild hypothermia was induced only in the cerebral cortex (35.3 ± 0.2°C) and returned to normal within 5 minutes. No significant reductions in infarct volume were observed in this group or in the ischemic group with local warm saline infusion or without infusion. Furthermore, brain-cooling infusion significantly (P < 0.01) improved motor behavior in ischemic rats after 14 days of reperfusion. This improvement continued for up to 28 days after reperfusion. CONCLUSION: Local prereperfusion infusion effectively induced hypothermia and ameliorated brain injury from stroke. Clinically, this procedure could be used in acute stroke treatment, possibly in combination with intra-arterial thrombolysis or mechanical disruption of clot by means of a microcatheter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)956-965
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Cerebral ischemia
  • Hypothermia
  • Infarct
  • Motor behavior
  • Prereperfusion infusion
  • Reperfusion damage


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