Treatment of Vasospasm
Vasospasm refers to a condition in which an arterial wall spasm leads to narrowing of the arteries in the brain. This can lead to tissue ischemia and tissue death. Cerebral vasospasm most often arises in the context of subarachnoid hemorrhage, but can occur rarely in other diseases such as reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome. Symptomatic vasospasm or delayed cerebral ischemia is a major contributor to post-operative stroke and death especially after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Vasospasm typically appears 4-10 days after subarachnoid hemorrhage and can last up to 3 weeks. Since vasospasm can contribute to ischemia, there are minimally invasive options which can restore circulation to these areas. For cerebral vasospasm, endovascular or catheter based treatment can be used if traditional medical management is not working. Intra-arterial drug infusions can be performed during balloon angioplasty of the intracranial vessels.