The evolution of traumatic brain injury in a rat focal contusion model.

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NMR in biomedicine, ISSN: 1099-1492, Vol: 26, Issue: 4, Page: 468-79

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Turtzo, L Christine; Budde, Matthew D; Gold, Eric M; Lewis, Bobbi K; Janes, Lindsay; Yarnell, Angela; Grunberg, Neil E; Watson, William; Frank, Joseph A
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; Medicine; Chemistry
article description
Serial MRI facilitates the in vivo analysis of the intra- and intersubject evolution of traumatic brain injury lesions. Despite the availability of MRI, the natural history of experimental focal contusion lesions in the controlled cortical impact (CCI) rat model has not been well described. We performed CCI on rats and MRI during the acute to chronic stages of cerebral injury to investigate the time course of changes in the brain. Female Wistar rats underwent CCI of their left motor cortex with a flat impact tip driven by an electromagnetic piston. In vivo MRI was performed at 7 T serially over 6 weeks post-CCI. The appearances of CCI-induced lesions and lesion-associated cortical volumes were variable on MRI, with the percentage change in cortical volume of the CCI ipsilateral side relative to the contralateral side ranging from 18% within 2 h of injury on day 0 to a peak of 35% on day 1, and a trough of -28% by week 5/6, with an average standard deviation of ± 14% at any given time point. In contrast, the percentage change in cortical volume of the ipsilateral side relative to the contralateral side in control rats was not significant (1 ± 2%). Hemorrhagic conversion within and surrounding the CCI lesion occurred between days 2 and 9 in 45% of rats, with no hemorrhage noted on the initial scan. Furthermore, hemorrhage and hemosiderin within the lesion were positive for Prussian blue and highly autofluorescent on histological examination. Although some variation in injuries may be technique related, the divergence of similar lesions between initial and final scans demonstrates the inherent biological variability of the CCI rat model.