In a model of experimental stroke, we characterize the effects of mild hypothermia, an effective neuroprotectant, on fluid shifts, cerebral perfusion and spreading depression (SD) using diffusion- (DWI) and perfusion-weighted MRI (PWI). Twenty-two rats underwent 2 h of middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion and were either kept normothermic or rendered mildly hypothermic shortly after MCA occlusion for 2 h. DWI images were obtained 0.5, 2 and 24 h after MCA occlusion, and maps of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) were generated. SD-like transient ADC decreases were also detected using DWI in animals subjected to topical KCl application (n=4) and ischemia (n=6). Mild hypothermia significantly inhibited DWI lesion growth early after the onset of ischemia as well as 24 h later, and improved recovery of striatal ADC by 24 h. Mild hypothermia prolonged SD-like ADC transients and further decreased the ADC following KCl application and immediately after MCA occlusion. Cerebral perfusion, however, was not affected by temperature changes. We conclude that mild hypothermia is neuroprotective and suppresses infarct growth early after the onset of ischemia, with better ADC recovery. The ADC decrease during SD was greater during mild hypothermia, and suggests that the source of the ADC is more complex than previously believed.
View details for Web of Science ID 000166026800008
View details for PubMedID 11102575