Effect of surgical pain stress on the blood-brain barrier permeability was investigated in rats. The animals were divided into four groups: Group 1: control, Group 2: immobilization stress, Group 3: acute hypertension, Group 4: immobilization stress + surgical pain stress.Bilateral hid paw surgical wounds for cannulations were applied in animals' inguinal regions under diethyl-ether anesthesia, then the animals were awaken from anesthesia to produce surgical pain stress. Evans-blue was used as a blood-brain barrier tracer. There is no significantly blood-brain barrier breakdown after short-time immobilization stress, but after adrenalin hypertension blood-brain barrier permeability was increased especially on frontal and occipital cortices in 50% of the animals. Surgical pain stress increased blood-brain barrier permeabiliy in comparison to acute adrenalin-induced hypertension (p < 0.01). In surgical pain stress-induced animals distinct Evans-blue leakage was observed in the occipital, frontal and parieto-temporal cortices. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.