Prediction of cerebral vasospasm in patients presenting with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage: A review

Christopher G. Harrod, Bernard R. Bendok, H. Hunt Batjer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

131 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Cerebral vasospasm is a devastating medical complication of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). It is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates, even after the aneurysm has been treated. A substantial amount of experimental and clinical research has been conducted in an effort to predict and prevent its occurrence. This research has contributed to significant advances in the understanding of the mechanisms leading to cerebral vasospasm. The ability to accurately and consistently predict the onset of cerebral vasospasm, however, has been challenging. This topic review describes the various methodologies and approaches that have been studied in an effort to predict the occurrence of cerebral vasospasm in patients presenting with SAH. METHODS: The English-language literature on the prediction of cerebral vasospasm after aneurysmal SAH was reviewed using the MEDLINE PubMed (1966-present) database. RESULTS: The risk factors, diagnostic imaging, bedside monitoring approaches, and pathological markers that have been evaluated to predict the occurrence of cerebral vasospasm after SAH are presented. CONCLUSION: To date, a large blood burden is the only consistently demonstrated risk factor for the prediction of cerebral vasospasm after SAH. Because vasospasm is such a multifactorial problem, attempts to predict its occurrence will probably require several different approaches and methodologies, as is done at present. Future improvements in the prevention of cerebral vasospasm from aneurysmal SAH will most likely require advances in our understanding of its pathophysiology and our ability to predict its onset.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-652
Number of pages20
JournalNeurosurgery
Volume56
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005

Keywords

  • Cerebral vasospasm
  • Markers
  • Risk factors
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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