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Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE

Non-invasive imaging and analysis of cerebral ischemia in living rats using positron emission tomography with 18F-FDG.


PMID 25590998

Abstract

Stroke is the third leading cause of death among Americans 65 years of age or older(1). The quality of life for patients who suffer from a stroke fails to return to normal in a large majority of patients(2), which is mainly due to current lack of clinical treatment for acute stroke. This necessitates understanding the physiological effects of cerebral ischemia on brain tissue over time and is a major area of active research. Towards this end, experimental progress has been made using rats as a preclinical model for stroke, particularly, using non-invasive methods such as (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) coupled with Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging(3,10,17). Here we present a strategy for inducing cerebral ischemia in rats by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) that mimics focal cerebral ischemia in humans, and imaging its effects over 24 hr using FDG-PET coupled with X-ray computed tomography (CT) with an Albira PET-CT instrument. A VOI template atlas was subsequently fused to the cerebral rat data to enable a unbiased analysis of the brain and its sub-regions(4). In addition, a method for 3D visualization of the FDG-PET-CT time course is presented. In summary, we present a detailed protocol for initiating, quantifying, and visualizing an induced ischemic stroke event in a living Sprague-Dawley rat in three dimensions using FDG-PET.

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