Human albumin therapy of acute ischemic stroke: marked neuroprotective efficacy at moderate doses and with a broad therapeutic window.
Belayev L, Liu Y, Zhao W, Busto R, Ginsberg MD.
Cerebral Vascular Disease Research Center, Department of Neurology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL 33101, USA.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We examined the neuroprotective efficacy of moderate-dose human albumin therapy in acute focal ischemic stroke and defined the therapeutic window after stroke onset, within which this therapy would confer neurobehavioral and histopathological neuroprotection. METHODS: Sprague-Dawley rats were anesthetized with halothane/nitrous oxide and received 2-hour middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) by a poly-L-lysine-coated intraluminal suture. Neurological status was evaluated during occlusion (60 minutes) and daily for 3 days after MCAo. In the dose-response study, human albumin doses of either of 0.63 or 1.25 g/kg or saline vehicle (5 mL/kg) were given intravenously immediately after suture removal. In the therapeutic window study, a human albumin dose of 1.25 g/kg was administered intravenously at 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours, or 5 hours after onset of MCAo. Three days after MCAo, brains were perfusion-fixed, and infarct volumes and brain swelling were determined. RESULTS: Moderate-dose albumin therapy significantly improved the neurological score at 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours and significantly reduced total infarct volume (by 67% and 58%, respectively, at the 1.25- and 0.63-g/kg doses). Cortical and striatal infarct volumes were also significantly reduced by both doses. Brain swelling was virtually eliminated by albumin treatment. Even when albumin therapy (1.25 g/kg) was initiated as late as 4 hours after onset of MCAo, it improved the neurological score and markedly reduced infarct volumes in cortex (by 68%), subcortical regions (by 52%), and total infarct (by 61%). CONCLUSIONS: Moderate-dose albumin therapy markedly improves neurological function and reduces infarction volume and brain swelling, even when treatment is delayed up to 4 hours after onset of ischemia.