BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE We evaluated the effects of long-term administration of high-colloid oncotic pressure on ischemic brain edema in Mongolian gerbils. METHODS Animals that exhibited stroke after 35 minutes of unilateral forebrain ischemia were used. The gerbils were divided into albumin- (1 g/kg body wt, 25% albumin; n = 30) and saline-injected (4 mL/kg; n = 30) groups. Both agents were administered intravenously every 12 hours starting immediately after the recirculation. Plasma colloid oncotic pressure, serum sodium and potassium concentrations, and brain water, sodium, and potassium content were measured 24, 48, and 72 hours after recirculation. RESULTS Plasma colloid oncotic pressure at 24, 48, and 72 hours after recirculation was significantly higher in the albumin- (26.1 +/- 2.3 mm Hg) than in the saline-treated group (18.5 +/- 1.9 mm Hg; P < .01), and brain water content of the ischemic hemisphere was significantly lower in the albumin group (79.5%, 80.2%, and 80.5%, respectively) than in the saline group (80.9%, 81.6%, and 82.1%, respectively; P < .05) at all three time points. Brain sodium content at 24 hours was significantly lower in the albumin than in the saline group (P < .05), while brain potassium content at 24 and 48 hours was significantly higher in the albumin than in the saline group (P < .05). The changes in brain water and sodium plus potassium content, which were calculated from differences between the ischemic and nonischemic hemispheres, showed a significant correlation in both groups (P < .01), but there was no significant difference between the linear regression lines for both groups. CONCLUSIONS Long-term high-colloid oncotic pressure was effective in treating ischemic brain edema, probably acting by diminishing the bulk flow through the disrupted blood-brain barrier and ameliorating the vasogenic edema.