Comparison of the brain tissue response in rats to injury by argon and carbon dioxide lasers

James E Boggan, M. S B Edwards, R. L. Davis, C. A. Bolger, N. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


This study compares the acute and chronic response of brain tissue to injury by equal power density, focused argon (Ar) and carbon dioxide (CO2) laser beams. A cortical incision from two 0.2-second laser pulses of 12.5 x 103 W/cm2 power density was made in the exposed cortex of 32 rats using either the CO2 or the Ar laser. The brains were examined at intervals from 1/2 hour to 1 month after injury. Histologically, all brain incisions were sharply demarcated hemispheroidal defects with a vaporized center bordered by a zone of coagulation necrosis surrounded by edema. The laser incisons were found to be of equal depth (<1 mm). The average cortical surface diameter of the CO2 laser incision was 0.86 mm for a focused beam spot size 0.45 mm in diameter, compared with 0.65 mm with the Ar laser, which had a focused beam spot size 0.15 mm in diameter. In both incisions, some delayed depth effect was observed. A progression of the tissue necrosis by approximately 17% was observed during the first 24 hours after injury. During the first 4 hours after injury, the Evans blue blood-brain barrier defect (EBBD) surrounding the cortical incisions averaged 5.80 mm2 for the CO2 incision and 0.888 mm2 for the Ar incision. In both types of brain incision, the EBBD appeared to resolve by 24 hours after injury. At 1 month after injury, a core of coagulation necrosis surrounded by mild fibrillary gliosis was observed. At the power density and focused beam spot sizes used, there was no significant difference in the overall brain tissue response to Ar and CO2 laser lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-616
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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