The present study describes a canine model of transient reversible blood-brain barrier disruption with hyperosmolar mannitol infusion into the internal carotid artery. Studies in this model show that osmotic blood-brain barrier disruption before intracarotid infusion of methotrexate results in markedly elevated (therapeutic) levels of drug in the ipsilateral cerebral hemisphere. Levels in the cerebrospinal fluid correlate poorly and inconsistently with brain levels. Computerized tomograms in this canine model provide a noninvasive monitor of the degree, time-course and localization of osmotic blood-brain barrier disruption.
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