A new model of spinal cord compression is presented. Forty-two New Zealand albino rabbits weighing between 1.2 and 1.5 kg were submitted to spinal cord compression to about half of its normal diameter by vascular Sugita's clip to different compression time (sham, 5-10-20 minutes e 1-6-12 hours) and sacrified after 72 hours. The consequent neurological dysfunction size of lesion was graded by Tarlov's scale for voluntar motility. Ultrastructural and morphometrical studies were carried out to evaluate changes in shape, perimeters, axonal and myelin areas of the lateral and the posterior tract of spinal cord. A 10 minute decrease of 50% of the transverse diameter of the spinal cord causes a defined damage. The swelling of myelin is a useful index of the importance of the damage.
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