Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) during the acute phase of a stroke contributes to recognize ischemic regions and is potentially useful to predict clinical outcome. Yet, the functional significance of early MRI alterations during brain ischemia is not clearly understood. We achieved an experimental study to interpret MRI signals in a novel model of focal ischemia in the in vitro isolated guinea pig brain. By combining neurophysiological and morphological analysis with MR-imaging, we evaluated the suitability of MR to identify ischemic and peri-ischemic regions.Extracellular recordings demonstrated depolarizations in the ischemic core, but not in adjacent areas, where evoked activity was preserved and brief peri-infarct depolarizations occurred. Diffusion-weighted MRI and immunostaining performed after neurophysiological characterization showed changes restricted to the core region. Diffusion-weighted MR alterations did not include the penumbra region characterized by peri-infarct depolarizations. Therefore, by comparing neurophysiological, imaging and anatomical data, we can conclude that DW-MRI underestimates the extension of the tissue damage involved in brain ischemia.
- Apparent diffusion coefficient
- Cerebral ischemia
- Guinea pig
- Ischemic depression
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Transient focal brain ischemia
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