Comparison of 12, 24 and 48 h of systemic hypothermia on outcome after permanent focal ischemia in rat

Darren L. Clark, Mark Penner, Ian M. Orellana-Jordan, Frederick Colbourne

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53 Citations (Scopus)


Mild hypothermia reduces injury in models of global and focal cerebral ischemia even when initiated after the insult. Neuroprotection depends critically upon the duration of hypothermia with longer treatments often being more efficacious. However, the ideal treatment duration is not known for most insults and this knowledge would facilitate clinical studies. Thus, we compared 12, 24 and 48 h of systemic hypothermia (33 °C vs. normothermia) initiated 1 h after permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO), which was produced by permanent occlusion of the carotid arteries and cauterization of the distal MCA in rat. Behavioral recovery and lesion volume were determined 7 days after pMCAO. All three treatments significantly and equally attenuated neurological deficits (e.g., forelimb placing response). Conversely, stepping error rate in the horizontal ladder test was significantly reduced only by the 24-h (18.7%) and 48-h treatments (11.7%) compared to normothermic rats (34.4%), and the 48-h treatment was significantly better than the 12-h treatment (28.8%). Similarly, brain injury was significantly reduced by 24-h (78.8 mm3 lesion volume) and 48-h (66.8 mm3) treatments compared to normothermia (142.6 mm3), and the 48-h treatment was significantly better than the 12-h duration (114.6 mm3). In separate experiments cerebral edema was measured via wet-dry weight measurements and significantly reduced by hypothermia (e.g., from 83.7% water in the injured cortex of normothermic rats to 81.4% in rats cooled for one day), but for this there were no significant duration effects. In summary, prolonged hypothermia treatment provides superior protection overall, but this is not explained by reductions in edema.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-392
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Neurology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2008



  • Behavior
  • Edema
  • Hypothermia
  • Neuroprotection
  • Permanent focal ischemia
  • Stroke
  • Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience

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