Neuroinflammation and Microvascular Dysfunction After Experimental Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: Emerging Components of Early Brain Injury Related to Outcome

NCJ_cover.jpgBy Joseph R. Geraghty, Joseph L. Davis, Fernando D. Testai

First Online: 22 April 2019

Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage has a high mortality rate and, for those who survive this devastating injury, can lead to lifelong impairment. Clinical trials have demonstrated that cerebral vasospasm of larger extraparenchymal vessels is not the sole contributor to neurological outcome. Recently, the focus of intense investigation has turned to mechanisms of early brain injury that may play a larger role in outcome, including neuroinflammation and microvascular dysfunction. Extravasated blood after aneurysm rupture results in a robust inflammatory response characterized by activation of microglia, upregulation of cellular adhesion molecules, recruitment of peripheral immune cells, as well as impaired neurovascular coupling, disruption of the blood–brain barrier, and imbalances in endogenous vasodilators and vasoconstrictors. Each of these phenomena is either directly or indirectly associated with neuronal death and brain injury. Here, we review recent studies investigating these various mechanisms in experimental models of subarachnoid hemorrhage with special emphasis on neuroinflammation and its effect on microvascular dysfunction. We discuss the various therapeutic targets that have risen from these mechanistic studies and suggest the utility of a multi-targeted approach to preventing delayed injury and improving outcome after subarachnoid hemorrhage.

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