Table I

Popular Methods to Detect Changes after Experimental TBI

Outcome measurement Methods

Electrophysiological changes Breakdown of the blood-brain barrier

Edema formation

Changes in cerebral perfusion

Increase in intracranial pressure Metabolic alterations

Genomic changes

Neurotransmitter release Ionic changes

Activation of autodestructive enzymes

Production of free radicals


Cell damage and cell death

Impairment in neurological motor function Deficits in cognitive function

EEG, somatosensory or brain stem evoked potentials

Magnetic resonance imaging, immunostaining for plasma constituents (e.g. IgG, albumin), detection of administered tracers (e.g., Evans blue, horseradish peroxidase)

Gravimetric detection of hemispheric swelling and increased water content, determination of specific gravity

Laser Doppler flow measurements, arterial spin-labeled magnetic resonance imaging, microsphere or hydrogen clearance technique, autoradiography

Intracranial inserted probes

Microdialysis and chromatography of metabolites, staining for respiratory function, determination of local cerebral glucose utilization, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, assessment of mitochondrial function

In situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, Western blot analysis, semiquantitative reverse transcriptase PCR


Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, ion- autoradiography, ion- selective electrode technology, microdialysis

Immunohistochemistry for activated enzymes or proteolysis products, electron microscopy for proteolysis products, Western blot analysis

Measurement of cyclic voltammetry, salicylate trapping method, chemiluminescence

Microdialysis, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, ELISA

Immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, measurement of lesion or cavity volume, measurement of cortical thickness, estimates of contusion volume or axonal damage with MRI, regional cell counts

Neurological severity score, Rotarod, rotating pole, beam walk and beam balance, composite neuroscore, spontaneous motor activity, wire grip test

Morris water maze, Barnes table, water finding task, win-shift paradigm seem to be investigated more comprehensively than any of the listed early and transient changes, it appears reasonable to use these persisting characteristics for a brief description of the most popular models to produce experimental TBI.

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