Presently, there are no effective, widely applicable therapies for ischemic stroke. There is strong clinical evidence for the neuroprotective benefits of hypothermia, and surface-cooling methods have been utilized for decades in the treatment of cerebral ischemia during cardiac arrest, but complications with hypothermia induction have hindered its clinical acceptance in ischemic stroke therapy. Recently, the microcatheter-based local endovascular infusion (LEVI) of cold saline directly to the infarct site has been proposed as a solution to the drawbacks of surface cooling. The safety and efficacy of LEVI in rat models have been established, and implementation in larger animals has been similarly encouraging. A recent pilot study even established the safety of LEVI in humans. This review seeks to outline the major research on LEVI, discusses the mechanisms that mediate its superior neuroprotection over surface and systemic cooling, and identifies areas that warrant further investigation. While LEVI features improvements on surface cooling, its core mechanisms of neuroprotection are still largely shared with therapeutic hypothermia in general. As such, the mechanisms of hypothermia-based neuroprotection are discussed as well.
Part of the book: Hypoxia and Human Diseases