Cerebral vasospasm is currently recognized as a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients surviving subarachnoid hemorrhage due to intracranial aneurysmal rupture. Effective management and possible prevention of the ischemic sequelae of vasospasm can occur if the clinical syndrome of vasospasm is detected in its earliest stages. This article acquaints the reader with the significant risk factors associated with development of vasospasm, the temporal profile of occurrence and the signs and symptoms of the clinical syndrome. A brief overview of some popular theories of vasospasm etiology and pathogenesis is presented. Additionally. a protocol for detection is provided incorporating the knowledge of population at risk, temporal profile and signs and symptoms of cerebral vasospasm.
Questions or comments about this article may be directed to the author at: Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit. Yale New Haven Hospital, 20 York Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06504, She is a staff nurse and is pursuing a master of science in nursing at Yale University.
© 1989 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses