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Relation of cerebral vasospasm to subarachnoid hemorrhage visualized by computerized tomographic scanning.

Fisher CM, Kistler JP, Davis JM.

Neurosurgery. 1980 Jan;6(1):1-9.


In 47 cases of verified ruptured saccular aneurysm, we investigated the relationship of the amount and distribution of subarachnoid blood detected by computerized tomography to the later development of cerebral vasospasm. When the subarachnoid blood was not detected or was distributed diffusely, severe vasospasm was almost never encounters (1 of 18 cases). In the presence of subarachnoid blood clots larger than 5 X 3 mm (measured on the reproduced images) or layers of blood 1 mm or more thick in fissures and vertical cisterns, severe spasm followed almost invariably (23 of 24 cases). There was an almost exact correspondence between the site of the major subarachnoid blood clots and the location of severe vasospasm. Every patient with severe vasospasm manifested delayed symptoms and signs. Excellent correlation existed between the particular artery in vasospasm and the delayed clinical syndrome. Severe vasospasm involved the anterior cerebral artery in 20 cases and the middle cerebral artery in only 14. As the grading system used is partly subjective, the findings should be regarded as preliminary. The results, if confirmed, indicate that blood localized in the subarachnoid space in sufficient amount at specific sites is the only important etiological factor in vasospasm. It should be possible to identify patients in jeopardy from vasospasm and institute early preventive measures. (Neurosurgery, 6: 1--9, 1980)

PMID: 7354892

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