Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage is a devastating condition causing significant morbidity and mortality. While outcomes from subarachnoid hemorrhage have improved in recent years, there continues to be significant interest in identifying therapeutic targets for this disease. In particular, there has been a shift in emphasis toward secondary brain injury that develops in the first 72 hours after subarachnoid hemorrhage. This time period of interest is referred to as the early brain injury period and comprises processes including microcirculatory dysfunction, blood-brain-barrier breakdown, neuroinflammation, cerebral edema, oxidative cascades, and neuronal death. Advances in our understanding of the mechanisms defining the early brain injury period have been accompanied by improved imaging and nonimaging biomarkers for identifying early brain injury, leading to the recognition of an elevated clinical incidence of early brain injury compared with prior estimates. With the frequency, impact, and mechanisms of early brain injury better defined, there is a need to review the literature in this area to guide preclinical and clinical study.
- secondary brain injury
- subarachnoid hemorrhage