Argon Inhalation for 24 Hours After Onset of Permanent Focal Cerebral Ischemia in Rats Provides Neuroprotection and Improves Neurologic Outcome.
OBJECTIVES: We tested the hypothesis that prolonged inhalation of 70% argon for 24 hours after in vivo permanent or temporary stroke provides neuroprotection and improves neurologic outcome and overall recovery after 7 days. DESIGN: Controlled, randomized, double-blinded laboratory study. SETTING: Animal research laboratories. SUBJECTS: Adult Wistar male rats (n = 110). INTERVENTIONS: Rats were subjected to permanent or temporary focal cerebral ischemia via middle cerebral artery occlusion, followed by inhalation of 70% argon or nitrogen in 30% oxygen for 24 hours. On postoperative day 7, a 48-point neuroscore and histologic lesion size were assessed. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: After argon inhalation for 24 hours immediately following "severe permanent ischemia" induction, neurologic outcome (neuroscore, p = 0.034), overall recovery (body weight, p = 0.02), and infarct volume (total infarct volume, p = 0.0001; cortical infarct volume, p = 0.0003; subcortical infarct volume, p = 0.0001) were significantly improved. When 24-hour argon treatment was delayed for 2 hours after permanent stroke induction or until after postischemic reperfusion treatment, neurologic outcomes remained significantly improved (neuroscore, p = 0.043 and p = 0.014, respectively), as was overall recovery (body weight, p = 0.015), compared with nitrogen treatment. However, infarct volume and 7-day mortality were not significantly reduced when argon treatment was delayed. CONCLUSIONS: Neurologic outcome (neuroscore), overall recovery (body weight), and infarct volumes were significantly improved after 24-hour inhalation of 70% argon administered immediately after severe permanent stroke induction. Neurologic outcome and overall recovery were also significantly improved even when argon treatment was delayed for 2 hours or until after reperfusion.
Ma, S; Chu, D; Li, L; Creed, JA; Ryang, Y-M; Sheng, H; Yang, W; Warner, DS; Turner, DA; Hoffmann, U
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