Cerebral vasospasm occurs in a significant number of individuals following subarachnoid hemorrhage secondary to a ruptured intracranial aneurysm. It is presently the single most important cause of neurological morbidity and mortality in this group of patients. The pathogenesis of the morphological changes seen in vasospastic vessels and the factors leading to the clinical syndrome of symptomatic vasospasm remain incompletely understood. However, recent progress has been made in both determining the pathophysiology of this disorder and in formulating a clinical approach to its prevention and treatment.
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