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Stroke Research and Treatment
Volume 2013, Article ID 651958, 7 pages
Review Article

Pathophysiological Role of Global Cerebral Ischemia following Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: The Current Experimental Evidence

Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research (ISD), University of Munich Medical Center, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Max-Lebsche Platz 3, 81377 Munich, Germany

Received 28 February 2013; Accepted 29 April 2013

Academic Editor: R. Loch Macdonald

Copyright © 2013 Nikolaus Plesnila. 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.


Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is the subtype of stroke with one of the highest mortality rates and the least well-understood pathophysiologies. One of the very early events which may occur after SAH is a significant decrease of cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) caused by the excessive increase of intracranial pressure during the initial bleeding. A severely decreased CPP results in global cerebral ischemia, an event also occurring after cardiac arrest. The aim of the current paper is to review the pathophysiological events occurring in experimental models of SAH and global cerebral ischemia and to evaluate the contribution and the importance of global cerebral ischemia for the pathophysiology of SAH.