Background: The leading cause of death and disability in patients suffering from aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is cerebral vasospasm, a persistent, progressive, and often irreversible constriction of cerebral arteries. A wide array of pathological changes occur in cerebral arteries following SAH, with endothelial injury being the earliest and most consistent one. Since intact endothelium modulates many reflexes that influence vascular tone, damage to them may represent a significant contributor to cerebral vasospasm. Methods: Changes in local cerebellar blood flow (LCBF) and pathological alterations in major cerebral arteries were studied and compared in rats at various time intervals following SAH. SAH induced by the subarachnoid injection of 0.3 ml of whole blood. Sham rats received a subarachnoid injection of 0.3 ml of isotonic saline. Results: Except for an immediate but transient decrease, LCBF remained unchanged over a 3 day period following saline injection. Likewise, there were no pathological alterations in cerebral arteries of saline-injected rats. In contrast, the subarachnoid injection of whole blood produced significant changes in both LCBF and cerebral arteries. Within 30 minutes post-blood injection, LCBF became significantly decreased and remained so for 4 hours. However, within 24 hours, LCBF had returned to control levels where it remained for 3 days. Endothelial injury was observed in the basilar and middle cerebral arteries from 30 minutes through 4 hours, the same periods in which LCBF was significantly reduced. Within 24 hours, the time period in which LCBF had rebounded to control ranges, cerebral arteries showed no evidence of endothelial damage and resembled control cells. Conclusion: The results indicate a direct correlation between changes in LCBF and the structural integrity of endothelial cells in the early stages following SAH. The lack of chronically depressed LCBF (after 1 day) may be related to the quick structural repair of endothelium.
- Cerebellar bloodflow
- Endothelial injury
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)