Neurological Assessment Scores in Rabbit Embolic Stroke Models



Aliza Browna, Sean Woodsa, Robert Skinnera, b, Jeff Hattona, John Loweryc, Paula Robersond, Leah Henningse, William C Culpa, *
a Department of Radiology, 4301 West Markham Street, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205-7199, USA
b Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences and Center for Transitional Neuroscience, 4301 West Markham Street, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205-7199, USA
c Laboratory Animal Medicine, 4301 West Markham Street, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205-7199, USA
d Department of Biostatistics, 4301 West Markham Street, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205-7199, USA
e Department of Pathology, 4301 West Markham Street, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205-7199, USA


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© Brown et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the UAMS Department of Radiology, 4301 West Markham Street – Slot 556 University of Medical Science, Little Rock, AR 72205-7199, USA; Tel: 501-686-6900; Fax: 501-686-6910; E-mail: culpwilliamc@uams.edu


Abstract

Background:

Neurological outcomes and behavioral assessments are widely used in animal models of stroke, but assessments in rabbit models are not fully validated. The wryneck model of neurological assessment scores (NAS) was compared to percent infarct volume (%IV) values (infarct volume is a proven clinical indicator of stroke severity) and arterial occlusion localization in three rabbit angiographic stroke models.

Hypothesis:

NAS values will correlate with percent infarct volume values.

Methods:

Anesthetized New Zealand White rabbits (N=131, 4-5 kg) received internal carotid artery emboli by angiographic catheter introduced into the femoral artery and occlusions were characterized. Rabbits were evaluated at 24 hours post embolism using the NAS test of 0 (normal) to 10 (death). Deficit criteria included neck twist, righting reflex, extension reflex in hind paw and forepaw, and posture. Brain sections stained with triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) were analyzed for %IV. Volume of the infarct was measured and calculated as a percent of the total brain volume.

Results:

The aggregate correlation for NAS values vs. %IV values was R=0.61, p<0.0001, a strong positive relationship, while correlations of the NAS components ranged from R=0.28-0.46. Occlusionsof the posterior cerebral artery vs. the middle cerebral artery alone produced significantly greater deficit scores at p<0.0001.

Conclusions:

These positive results validate the NAS system in the rabbit angiographic embolic stroke model.

Keywords:: Animal models, clots, microspheres, neurological evaluation, rabbits, strokes.