Adrenal steroids have been used to treat cerebral edema ever since Prados et al1 observed that spraying the cerebral cortex with adrenal cortical extract minimized the trypan blue staining which exposure otherwise induced. Pretreatment with cortisone also prevents edema formation around cerebral stab wounds,2 and corticosteroids appear to reduce the edema that surrounds human and experimental brain tumors.3,4 Whether corticosteroids reduce the cerebral edema and improve the clinical course of patients with ischemic cerebral infarction is unknown. Clinical statements have been made both pro5,6 and con,7 but there have been no controlled experimental studies on the problem. In the present work the glucocorticoid, dexamethasone, was given to rats both before and after a controlled anoxic-ischemic insult. The mortality and tissue changes were compared in treated and untreated animals.
Adult male Sprague-Dawley white rats weighing 325-425 gm were used. As described in the previous paper
PLUM F, ALVORD EC, POSNER JB. Effect of Steroids on Experimental Cerebral Infarction. Arch Neurol. 1963;9(6):571–573. doi:10.1001/archneur.1963.00460120021002
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