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International Journal of Inflammation
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 509707, 14 pages
Review Article

Vasospasm in Cerebral Inflammation

Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Lewsey Road, Luton LU4ODZ, UK

Received 13 September 2014; Accepted 8 December 2014; Published 29 December 2014

Academic Editor: Jean-Marc Cavaillon

Copyright © 2014 Michael Eisenhut. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


All forms of cerebral inflammation as found in bacterial meningitis, cerebral malaria, brain injury, and subarachnoid haemorrhage have been associated with vasospasm of cerebral arteries and arterioles. Vasospasm has been associated with permanent neurological deficits and death in subarachnoid haemorrhage and bacterial meningitis. Increased levels of interleukin-1 may be involved in vasospasm through calcium dependent and independent activation of the myosin light chain kinase and release of the vasoconstrictor endothelin-1. Another key factor in the pathogenesis of cerebral arterial vasospasm may be the reduced bioavailability of the vasodilator nitric oxide. Therapeutic trials in vasospasm related to inflammation in subarachnoid haemorrhage in humans showed a reduction of vasospasm through calcium antagonists, endothelin receptor antagonists, statins, and plasminogen activators. Combination of therapeutic modalities addressing calcium dependent and independent vasospasm, the underlying inflammation, and depletion of nitric oxide simultaneously merit further study in all conditions with cerebral inflammation in double blind randomised placebo controlled trials. Auxiliary treatment with these agents may be able to reduce ischemic brain injury associated with neurological deficits and increased mortality.