Comparison of cerebrocortical microvascular effects of different hypoxic-ischemic insults in piglets: A laser-speckle imaging study

Ferenc Domoki, D. Zolei-Szenasi, O. Olah, V. Toth-Szuki, J. Nemeth, B. Hopp, F. Bari, T. Smausz

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The newborn pig is a widely accepted large animal model of hypoxic/ischemic (H/I) encephalopathy (HIE) of the term neonate appropriate for translational research. The methodology of the induction of H/I stress shows extensive variability of the literature, and little is known how these affect study outcome. The purpose of the present study was to determine the cerebrocortical microvascular effects of different H/I insults used in current HIE piglet models. For the semiquantitative study of cerebrocortical blood flow, we developed a methodological innovation: an operating microscope was converted into a custom-designed laser-speckle imager. Anesthetized, air-ventilated newborn pigs (n=7) were fitted with a closed cranial window. Speckle image series (2 ms, 1 Hz) were collected during baseline conditions, during transient bilateral carotid artery occlusion (BCAO), hypoxic (FiO2=0.1) hypoxia, hypoxia + BCAO, and asphyxia induced by suspending ventilation. Laser-speckle contrast analysis was performed off-line over parenchymal and arteriolar regions of interests, and pial arteriolar diameters were also determined for detailed analysis of cortical perfusion changes. Under normoxic conditions, transient BCAO did not affect parenchymal perfusion or pial arteriolar diameters. Hypoxia induced marked cortical hyperemia in 5 out of 7 piglets, with simultaneous increases in pial arteriolar diameters and arteriolar flow velocity, however, BCAO could not even affect these hypoxia-induced perfusion changes. In contrast to hypoxia or hypoxia + BCAO, asphyxia inevitably led also to severe cerebrocortical ischemia. In summary, acute reversible BCAO does not reduce cerebrocortical blood flow in the piglet, and thus it likely does not exacerbate the effect of hypoxic ventilation. Asphyxia elicits not only severe hypoxia, but also severe brain ischemia. These microcirculatory effects must be taken into consideration when assessing results obtained in the various HIE piglet models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-558
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • Autoregulation
  • Brain ischemia
  • Carotid artery
  • Cerebrovascular reactivity
  • Cranial window
  • Pial arterioles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology

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