A blinded randomized assessment of laser Doppler flowmetry efficacy in standardizing outcome from intraluminal filament MCAO in the rat.

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Laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF) is widely used for estimating cerebral blood flow changes during intraluminal middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). No investigation has systematically examined LDF efficacy in standardizing outcome. We examined MCAO histologic and behavioral outcome as a function of LDF measurement.

Materials and methods

Rats were subjected to 90min MCAO by 4 surgeons having different levels of MCAO surgical experience. LDF was measured in all rats during ischemia. By random assignment, LDF values were (Assisted) or were not (Blinded) made available to each surgeon during MCAO (n=12-17 per group). Neurologic and histologic outcomes were measured 7 days post-MCAO. A second study examined LDF effects on 1-day post-MCAO outcome.


Pooled across surgeons, intra-ischemic %LDF change (P=0.12), neurologic scores (Assisted vs. Blinded=14±6 vs. 13±7, P=0.61, mean±standard deviation) and cerebral infarct volume (162±63mm(3)vs. 143±86mm(3), P=0.24) were not different between groups. Only for one surgeon (novice) did LDF use alter infarct volume (145±28mm(3)vs. 98±61mm(3), P=0.03). LDF use decreased infarct volume coefficient of variation (COV) by 35% (P=0.02), but had no effect on neurologic score COV.

Comparison with existing methods

We compared intraluminal MCAO outcome as a function of LDF use.


LDF measurement altered neither neurologic nor histologic MCAO outcome. LDF did not decrease neurologic deficit COV, but did decrease infarct volume COV. LDF may allow use of fewer animals if infarct volume is the primary dependent variable, but is unlikely to impact requisite sample sizes if neurologic function is of primary interest.





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Publication Info

Taninishi, Hideki, Jin Yong Jung, Miwa Izutsu, Zhengfeng Wang, Huaxin Sheng and David S Warner (2015). A blinded randomized assessment of laser Doppler flowmetry efficacy in standardizing outcome from intraluminal filament MCAO in the rat. Journal of neuroscience methods, 241. pp. 111–120. 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2014.12.006 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/23270.

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Huaxin Sheng

Associate Professor in Anesthesiology

We have successfully developed various rodent models of brain and spinal cord injuries in our lab, such as focal cerebral ischemia, global cerebral ischemia, head trauma, subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracerebral hemorrhage, spinal cord ischemia and compression injury. We also established cardiac arrest and hemorrhagic shock models for studying multiple organ dysfunction.  Our current studies focus on two projects. One is to examine the efficacy of catalytic antioxidant in treating cerebral ischemia and the other is to examine the efficacy of post-conditioning on outcome of subarachnoid hemorrhage induced cognitive dysfunction.

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