Role of microglia after subarachnoid hemorrhage

David C. Lauzier, Umeshkumar Athiraman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Subarachnoid hemorrhage is a devastating sequela of aneurysm rupture. Because it disproportionately affects younger patients, the population impact of hemorrhagic stroke from subarachnoid hemorrhage is substantial. Secondary brain injury is a significant contributor to morbidity after subarachnoid hemorrhage. Initial hemorrhage causes intracranial pressure elevations, disrupted cerebral perfusion pressure, global ischemia, and systemic dysfunction. These initial events are followed by two characterized timespans of secondary brain injury: the early brain injury period and the delayed cerebral ischemia period. The identification of varying microglial phenotypes across phases of secondary brain injury paired with the functions of microglia during each phase provides a basis for microglia serving a critical role in both promoting and attenuating subarachnoid hemorrhage-induced morbidity. The duality of microglial effects on outcomes following SAH is highlighted by the pleiotropic features of these cells. Here, we provide an overview of the key role of microglia in subarachnoid hemorrhage-induced secondary brain injury as both cytotoxic and restorative effectors. We first describe the ontogeny of microglial populations that respond to subarachnoid hemorrhage. We then correlate the phenotypic development of secondary brain injury after subarachnoid hemorrhage to microglial functions, synthesizing experimental data in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-856
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2024


  • Aneurysms
  • immunology
  • inflammation
  • intracranial aneurysm
  • microglia


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