Imaging reveals the focal area of spreading depolarizations and a variety of hemodynamic responses in a rat microembolic stroke model

Zsófia Bere, Tihomir P. Obrenovitch, Gábor Kozák, Ferenc Bari, Eszter Farkas

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Spreading depolarizations (SDs) occur in stroke, but the spatial association between SDs and the corresponding hemodynamic changes is incompletely understood. We applied multimodal imaging to visualize the focal area of selected SDs, and hemodynamic responses with SDs propagating over the ischemic cortex. The intracarotid infusion of polyethylene microspheres (d=45 to 53 μm) produced multifocal ischemia in anesthetized rats (n=7). Synchronous image sequences captured through a cranial window above the frontoparietal cortex revealed: Changes in membrane potential (voltage-sensitive (VS) dye method); cerebral blood flow (CBF; laser speckle contrast (LSC) imaging); and hemoglobin (Hb) deoxygenation (red intrinsic optical signal (IOS) at 620 to 640 nm). A total of 31 SD events were identified. The foci of five SDs were seen in the cranial window, originating where CBF was the lowest (56.9±9%), but without evident signs of infarcts. The hyperemic CBF responses to propagating SDs were coupled with three types of Hb saturation kinetics. More accentuated Hb desaturation was related to a larger decrease in CBF shortly after ischemia induction. Microsphere-induced embolization triggers SDs in the rat brain, relevant for small embolic infarcts in patients. The SD occurrence during the early phase of ischemia is not tightly associated with immediate infarct evolution. Various kinetics of Hb saturation may determine the metabolic consequences of individual SDs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1695-1705
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2014



  • cerebral hemodynamics
  • imaging
  • intrinsic optical imaging
  • spreading depression
  • voltage-sensitive dyes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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