Different strokes for different folks: the rich diversity of animal models of focal cerebral ischemia.
No single animal model is able to encompass all of the variables known to affect human ischemic stroke. This review highlights the major strengths and weaknesses of the most commonly used animal models of acute ischemic stroke in the context of matching model and experimental aim. Particular emphasis is placed on the relationships between outcome and underlying vascular variability, physiologic control, and use of models of comorbidity. The aim is to provide, for novice and expert alike, an overview of the key controllable determinants of experimental stroke outcome to help ensure the most effective application of animal models to translational research.