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Abstract #1468

Developing a Rat Model of Brainstem Coma: Initial MRI and MRA Investigations of Basilar Artery Occlusion

Patricia Pais Roldán1, Brian Edlow2, and Xin Yu1

1Translational Neuroimaging and Neural Control Research Group, High Field Magnetic Resonance Department, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, 2Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States

The ascending reticular activating system (ARAS) of the brainstem mediates arousal, which is an essential component of consciousness. In order to infarct the ARAS and induce an unarousable state in rats, we performed a two-point basilar artery (BA) occlusion. We used high resolution MRI to map the neuroanatomical distribution of the resulting brainstem infarction and MRA to map the penetrating branches of the BA. BA occlusion reproducibly caused medial-ventral brainstem infarction but did not create an unarousable state, suggesting that a larger region of ARAS infarction will be needed to create a rat model of brainstem coma.

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