✓ The cause of cerebral vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) remains unknown. Recently, an association between the potent vasoconstricting peptide, neuropeptide Y, and delayed cerebral vasospasm after SAH has been postulated. This was based on the findings of increased neuropeptide Y levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma after SAH in animals and humans. For this study, the primate model of SAH was used to assess the possible role of neuropeptide Y in delayed vasospasm after SAH. Fifteen cynomolgus monkeys underwent placement of a clot of either whole blood or red blood cells in the subarachnoid space around the middle cerebral artery (MCA). Sequential arteriography for assessment of MCA diameter and sampling of blood and CSF for neuropeptide Y were performed: before SAH (Day 0); 7 days after SAH, when signs of delayed cerebral vasospasm peak in this model and in humans; 12 days after SAH; and 28 days after SAH.
Subarachnoid hemorrhage did not evoke changes in CSF or plasma levels of neuropeptide Y. Nine monkeys had arteriographic evidence of vasospasm on Day 7, but no change in neuropeptide Y levels occurred in plasma or CSF. In addition, neuropeptide Y levels did not change, even after resolution of vasospasm on Day 12 or Day 28. Neuropeptide Y levels were substantially higher in CSF than in arterial plasma (p < 0.003 at each interval). No correlation was found between neuropeptide Y levels in CSF and in plasma. These results do not confirm a relationship between neuropeptide Y levels in the CSF or peripheral plasma and delayed cerebral vasospasm in SAH.