Experimental regional cerebral ischemia in the middle cerebral artery territory in primates. Part 2: Effects on brain water and electrolytes in the early phase of MCA stroke.
Acute regional cerebral ischemia was produced in the middle cerebral artery (MCA) territory in monkeys (Macaca mulatta) by selective embolization of the internal carotid (ICA) bifurcation with minimum surgical intervention in the neck under sedated conditions. Two of five hours after embolization, brain water (measurement of dry weight) and tissue concentration of sodium and potassium were determined in the tissues of the sylvian cortex, putamen and subcortical white matter in the affected MCA territory. As early as three hours, initial increase in brain water was detected in the samples of the putament without noticeable change in tissue electrolytes in two of three animals. Gross ischemic swelling of the gray matter, in both the sylvian cortex and putamen, became obvious in six of eight animals after four to five hours. This swollen gray matter showed marked increase in brain water (up to 36% swelling), increase in tissue sodium (up to 100% of the control value), and decrease in tissue potassium (down to 55%). On the other hand, edema in the white matter, if present at all, was minimal without detectable change in tissue electrolytes and was always accompanied by much greater ( greater than two to seven times) edema in the gray matter. Thus, the gray matter edema, in both the deep subcortical structures and the cortex, appeared to play the major role in the development of hemispheric swelling of the brain which may begin within hours of the onset of the MCA stroke in monkeys. Microscopically, the swollen gray matter which showed more than 10% swelling with a definite shift of tissue sodium and potassium content appeared to be dead tissue. However, early edema in the gray matter which showed less than 10% swelling without detectable change in electrolytes might be caused by simple diffusion of water through the dysfunctional capillary wall or cell membrane with or without a permeability gradient between the intravascular cerebrospinal fluid and cerebral tissue compartment and might possibly be reversible.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association