Infarct volume after hyperacute infusion of hypertonic saline in a rat model of acute embolic stroke

Alexander Papangelou, Thomas J.K. Toung, Allan Gottschalk, Marek A. Mirski, Raymond C. Koehler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Hypertonic saline (HS) can treat cerebral edema arising from a number of pathologic conditions. However, physicians are reluctant to use it during the first 24 h after stroke because of experimental evidence that it increases infarct volume when administered early after reperfusion. Here, we determined the effect of HS on infarct size in an embolic clot model without planned reperfusion. Methods: A clot was injected into the internal carotid artery of male Wistar rats to reduce perfusion in the middle cerebral artery territory to less than 40 % of baseline, as monitored by laser-Doppler flowmetry. After 25 min, rats were randomized to receive 10 mL/kg of 7.5 % HS (50:50 chloride:acetate) or normal saline (NS) followed by a 0.5 mL/h infusion of the same solution for 22 h. Results: Infarct volume was similar between NS and HS groups (in mm3: cortex 102 ± 65 mm3 vs. 93 ± 49 mm3, p = 0.72; caudoputamenal complex 15 ± 9 mm3 vs. 21 ± 14, p = 0.22; total hemisphere 119 ± 76 mm3 vs. 114 ± 62, p = 0.88, respectively). Percent water content was unchanged in the infarcted hemisphere (NS 81.6 ± 1.5 %; HS 80.7 ± 1.3 %, p = 0.16), whereas the HS-treated contralateral hemisphere was significantly dehydrated (NS 79.4 ± 0.8 %; HS 77.5 ± 0.8 %, p < 0.01). Conclusions: HS reduced contralateral hemispheric water content but did not affect ipsilateral brain water content when compared to NS. Infarct volume was unaffected by HS administration at all evaluated locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-114
Number of pages9
JournalNeurocritical care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Embolic stroke
  • Hypernatremia
  • Hypertonic saline
  • Normal saline
  • Tissue water content
  • Wistar rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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