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Abstract

Objective:

Risk of intracerebral hemorrhage is the primary factor limiting use of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) for stroke. Clinical studies have established an association between admission hyperglycemia and the risk of hemorrhage with tPA use, independent of prior diabetes. Here we used an animal model of tPA-induced reperfusion hemorrhage to determine if this clinical association reflects a true causal relationship.

Methods:

Rats underwent 90 minutes of focal ischemia, and tPA infusion was begun 10 minutes prior to vessel reperfusion. Glucose was administered during ischemia to generate blood levels ranging from 5.9 ± 1.8mM (normoglycemia) to 21 ± 2.3mM. In some studies, apocynin was administered to block superoxide production by nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH). Brains were harvested 1 hour or 3 days after reperfusion to evaluate the effects of hyperglycemia and apocynin on oxidative stress, blood–brain barrier breakdown, infarct volume, and hemorrhage volume.

Results:

Rats that were hyperglycemic during tPA infusion had diffusely increased blood–brain barrier permeability in the postischemic territory, and a 3- to 5-fold increase in intracerebral hemorrhage volumes. The hyperglycemic rats also showed increased superoxide formation in the brain parenchyma and vasculature during reperfusion. The effects of hyperglycemia on superoxide production, blood–brain barrier disruption, infarct size, and hemorrhage were all attenuated by apocynin.

Interpretation:

These findings demonstrate a causal relationship between hyperglycemia and hemorrhage in an animal model of tPA stroke treatment, and suggest that this effect of hyperglycemia is mediated through an increase in superoxide production by NADPH oxidase. ANN NEUROL 2011