✓ To evaluate microcirculatory disturbance and cerebral edema associated with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), both stereological morphometry on the intraparenchymal capillary network and microgravimetry were performed on a rabbit SAH model. Autologous arterial blood (5 ml) was injected into the cisterna magna, and the animals were sacrificed at intervals of 6 hours, 1 day, 2 days, or 6 days after SAH. Capillaries in the piriform cortex, parasagittal cortex, and ventral brain stem of the midline-hemisectioned brain were injected with Evans blue dye 1 minute before sacrifice, and were planimetrically evaluated under a fluorescence microscope connected to an image analysis system. Stereological and morphological parameters including the volume density, surface density, numerical density, minimum intercapillary distance, and the diameter of Evans blue-perfused capillaries were also computed.
In the piriform cortex and ventral brain stem, the volume and surface densities were significantly reduced and the minimum intercapillary distance was significantly increased 1 to 2 days after SAH. In the parasagittal cortex far from the cisternal clot, changes in the parameters were minimal. Cerebral blood volume (CBV) in the normal condition and edema formation associated with SAH were studied by the microgravimetric technique. The mean CBV in the parasagittal cortex, piriform cortex, and brain stem was 6.9%, 6.8%, and 5.6%, respectively. Following SAH, specific gravity in the piriform cortex and the ventral brain stem of the other side of the hemisectioned brain was significantly decreased at 1 to 2 days, showing a change parallel to that of the stereological parameters. The results obtained from the morphometric technique indicated the occurrence of impaired capillary perfusion and reduced capillary blood volume following SAH, while microgravimetry suggested the formation of brain edema during this period. These changes in the intraparenchymal vessels may play an important role in the pathophysiology of SAH.