Neuroprotective effects of preischemia intra-arterial magnesium sulfate in reversible focal cerebral ischemia

Author(s): Marinov MB, Harbaugh KS, Hoopes PJ, Pikus HJ, Harbaugh RE


The known cytoprotective properties of MgSO4 led the authors to study its effects on infarct size in rats when administered intraarterially before reversible focal ischemia. Following an intracarotid infusion of MgSO4 in the amount of 30 mg/kg (24 animals), 90 mg/kg (18 animals), or an equal volume of vehicle (23 animals), middle cerebral artery occlusion was produced in rats by means of an intraluminal suture technique. Reperfusion occurred after 1.5 (42 animals) or 2 hours (23 animals) of ischemia. Automated, volumetric measurements of 2',3',5'-triphenyl-2H-tetrazolium chloride-stained coronal brain sections demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in infarct size for MgSO4 treatment groups compared to controls. Cytoprotection was greater in animals subjected to 1.5 hours of ischemia (28.4% reduction in infarct volume, p < 0.001, Student's t-test), than in those having 2 hours of ischemia (19.3% reduction, p < 0.05). Animals given 90 mg/kg MgSO4 prior to 1.5 hours of ischemia (12 animals) showed a 59.8% reduction in infarct volume compared to controls (11 animals, p < 0.001) and a 43.1% reduction compared to the 30 mg/kg group (11 animals, p < 0.001). Analysis of variance demonstrated the statistically significant effects of MgSO4 doses on infarct volume across all groups (F = 22.95, p < 0.0001). The neuroprotective effect of intraarterial MgSO4 in this model is robust, dose dependent, and related to the duration of ischemia. The compound may be valuable for limiting infarction if given intraarterially before induction of reversible ischemia during cerebrovascular surgery.

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