Complications and pitfalls in rat stroke models for middle cerebral artery occlusion: a comparison between the suture and the macrosphere model using magnetic resonance angiography

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurology

Publication Date


Document Type



Animals; Carotid Artery, External; *Disease Models, Animal; *Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery; Ligation; Magnetic Resonance Angiography; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Male; Microspheres; Rats; Rats, Sprague-Dawley; Suture Techniques; Titanium


Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience | Neurology | Neuroscience and Neurobiology


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Investigating focal cerebral ischemia requires animal models that are relevant to human stroke. Complications and side effects are common among these models. The present study describes potential pitfalls in 3 techniques for middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in rats using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA).

METHODS: Rats were subjected to temporary MCAO for 90 minutes using the suture technique (group I; n=10) or to permanent MCAO using the suture technique (group II; n=10) or the macrosphere technique (group III; n=10). Clinical evaluation was performed after 3 hours and 24 hours. After 24 hours, animals underwent MRI and MRA to determine lesion size and the intracranial vascular status.

RESULTS: Hemispheric lesion volume was significantly smaller in group I (14.6%) compared with groups II (35.2%; PCONCLUSIONS: Model failures occurred frequently in all groups. MRI and MRA helps to identify animals that need to be excluded from experimental stroke studies.

DOI of Published Version



Stroke. 2004 Oct;35(10):2372-7. Epub 2004 Sep 2. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Stroke; a journal of cerebral circulation

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID