Occurrence of stroke in a nonhuman primate model of cerebrovascular disease.
A relation between hypertension, atherosclerosis, and stroke is well documented in humans. We report a similar relation in two hypertensive cynomolgus monkeys with severe cerebral atherosclerosis. In our primate model hypertension is induced by surgical coarctation of the aorta. These monkeys, when fed an atherogenic diet, develop severe cerebrovascular atherosclerosis. In this setting two monkeys developed spontaneous cerebral hemispheric strokes that occurred during treatment of hypertension. Since the strokes were topographically related to severe atherosclerotic narrowing of cerebral arteries and occurred without evidence of either thrombosis or embolization, they are presumed to be related to disturbances of blood flow. In both humans and animals cerebral perfusion is autoregulated to a constant flow over a wide range of mean arterial blood pressures. In hypertension both the upper and lower limits of autoregulation are increased. With treatment of hypertension readaptation to more normal levels is reported to be inconsistent and slow to develop. It is therefore postulated that the strokes in these two monkeys were due to hypoperfusion as a result of the combination of pharmacologic reduction in blood pressure and severe occlusive atherosclerosis.