There is evidence that electromagnetic stimulation may accelerate the healing of tissue damage following ischemia. We undertook this study to investigate the effects of low frequency pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) exposure on cerebral injury in a rabbit model of transient focal ischemia (2 h occlusion followed by 4 h of reperfusion). PEMF exposure (280 V, 75 Hz, IGEA Stimulator) was initiated 10 min after the onset of ischemia and continued throughout reperfusion (six exposed, six controls). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histology were used to measure the degree of ischemic injury. Exposure to pulsed electromagnetic field attenuated cortical ischemia edema on MRI at the most anterior coronal level by 65% (P < 0.001). On histologic examination, PEMF exposure reduced ischemic neuronal damage in this same cortical area by 69% (P < 0.01) and by 43% (P < 0.05) in the striatum. Preliminary data suggest that exposure to a PEMF of short duration may have implications for the treatment of acute stroke.
Grant G, Cadossi R, Steinberg G.
Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University, California 94305.