Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Elliot J. RothEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_2211


Cerebral vasospasm is the sudden acute narrowing of cerebral blood vessels that can occur 3–4 days after the onset of a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) stroke resulting from a rupture of a cerebral aneurysm.

Current Knowledge

By causing reduced cerebral blood flow to the affected area, it causes cerebral ischemia, and consequently vasospasm is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality following SAH. Arterial vasospasm is seen in 40–70% of SAH patients on cerebral angiogram, but symptoms occur in about 20–30%. It can cause confusion, reduced consciousness, and ultimately coma and death. When it is less severe, neurological recovery occurs as the arterial narrowing resolves. Treatment involves administration of selected medications and fluids to reduce the vasospasm.


References and Readings

  1. Dietrich, H. H., & Dacey, R. G. (2000). Molecular keys to the problems of cerebral vasospasm. Neurosurgery, 46, 517–530.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Weir, B. (1995). The pathophysiology of cerebral vasospasm. British Journal of Neurosurgery, 9, 375–390.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationNorthwestern University, Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA