Potential animal models of lacunar stroke: a systematic review

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Abstract

Background and Purpose-Lacunar ischemic stroke accounts for 25% of all ischemic strokes, but the exact etiology is unknown. Numerous pathophysiologies have been proposed, including atheroma and endothelial dysfunction. Models of any of these pathological features would aid understanding of the etiology and help develop treatments for lacunar stroke. We therefore aimed to assess the relevance of all available potential animal models of lacunar stroke.

Methods-We systematically reviewed the published literature for animal models that could represent lacunar stroke using validated search strategies. We included studies that could represent an aspect of lacunar stroke as well as those aiming to model conditions with potentially similar pathology and extracted data on species, induction method, and resulting brain and vessel lesions.

Results-From 5670 papers, 41 studies (46 papers) met inclusion criteria representing over 10 different classes of stroke induction. Important data like infarct size and animal numbers were often missing. Many models' infarcts were too large or affected the cortex. Emboli mostly caused cortical but not small subcortical lesions. Most models focused on creating ischemic lesions in brain tissue. Only one (spontaneous lesions in spontaneously hypertensive stroke-prone rats) also mimicked small vessel pathology. Here, the precursor to small vessel and brain damage was blood-brain barrier failure.

Conclusion-Some animal models produce small subcortical infarcts, but few mimic the human small vessel pathology. Models of small vessel disease could help improve understanding of human lacunar disease, particularly to clarify factors associated with the small vessel morphological changes preceding brain damage. Much lacunar stroke may arise after blood-brain barrier disruption. (Stroke. 2009; 40: e451-e458.)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e451-8
Number of pages8
JournalStroke
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

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