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Cerebral collaterals are dynamically recruited after arterial occlusion and highly affect tissue outcome in acute ischemic stroke. We investigated the efficacy and safety of four pathophysiologically distinct strategies for acute modulation of collateral flow (collateral therapeutics) in the rat stroke model of transient middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion. A composed randomization design was used to assign rats (n = 118) to receive phenylephrine (induced hypertension), polygeline (intravascular volume load), acetazolamide (cerebral arteriolar vasodilation), head down tilt (HDT) 15° (cerebral blood flow diversion), or no treatment, starting 30 min after MCA occlusion. Compared to untreated animals, treatment with collateral therapeutics was associated with lower infarct volumes (62% relative mean difference; 51.57 mm3 absolute mean difference; p < 0.001) and higher chance of good functional outcome (OR 4.58, p < 0.001). Collateral therapeutics acutely increased cerebral perfusion in the medial (+40.8%; p < 0.001) and lateral (+19.2%; p = 0.016) MCA territory compared to pretreatment during MCA occlusion. Safety indicators were treatment-related mortality and cardiorespiratory effects. The highest efficacy and safety profile was observed for HDT. Our findings suggest that acute modulation of cerebral collaterals is feasible and provides a tissue-saving effect in the hyperacute phase of ischemic stroke prior to recanalization therapy.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cereb Blood Flow Metab

Publication Date





3344 - 3354


Acute ischemic stroke, cerebral collaterals, collateral therapeutics, experimental stroke, ischemic penumbra, Animals, Brain Ischemia, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Collateral Circulation, Head-Down Tilt, Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery, Perfusion, Rats, Stroke