An experimental model of focal ischemia using an internal carotid artery approach Academic Article uri icon


  • Animal models of cerebral ischemia represent an important contribution to both our understanding of stroke mechanism and the development of new therapies. The technique of MCAO (middle cerebral artery occlusion) via ECA (external carotid artery) occlusion is widely utilized. Disruption of the ECA and its branches leads to impaired mastication and oral intake, post-surgical body weight loss, and poor neurological recovery which can possibly confound one's interpretation of rats’ neurological outcome. Here, we developed a novel modified technique for MCAO without ligation or coagulation of the ECA and its branches using an approach via the internal carotid artery (ICA). In our modified technique, we perform an additional fixation of the filament in the ICA which improves the stability of the model and increases the homogeneity in stroke size. Compared with the original MCAO technique via the ECA, our modified technique via the ICA demonstrated decreased variability in the percent infarcted volume and brain edema, as well as a decreased mortality. Additionally, we observed that with our modified technique, rats gained more weight after surgery and there was less initial weight loss after the surgical preparation. Our new approach may serve as an effective model for stroke, and may lead to a better understanding of stoke pathophysiology and to the future development of new drugs and other neuroprotective agents.

publication date

  • January 1, 2010