✓ Although proliferative arteriopathy has been postulated to play a role in the etiology of vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), histological and morphological studies examining cerebral vasospasm have produced conflicting results. To help settle this controversy, the authors used an in vivo label of cell division, bromodeoxycytidine, to assess cell proliferation in a primate model of SAH.
Fifteen cynomolgus monkeys received a clot of either whole blood (11 animals) or red blood cells (four animals) placed around the right middle cerebral artery (MCA). On the day of surgery continuous intravenous infusion of bromodeoxycytidine was begun and continued until the animal was sacrificed immediately after arteriography on Day 7, 12, or 27 following surgery. Sections from the right and left MCA's were stained with a monoclonal antibody against bromodeoxcytidine, and labeled cells were counted.
Arteriographic evidence of vasospasm occurred in nine monkeys on Day 7. On Day 12 and Day 27 no monkeys had persistent vasospasm. Placement of subarachnoid clot around the right MCA increased proliferative activity across all layers of the arterial wall. Most of the labeled cells were in the adventitia and the endothelium. Although there were more dividing cells in all layers of the right MCA than the left MCA (p < 0.01), the number of stained cells per section was limited (range 0.1 to 21.2, mean 8) and the occurrence of vasospasm was not associated with the number of dividing cells in the right MCA on Day 7, 12, 27, or for all days combined (p > 0.6).
Cerebral vasospasm after SAH was not associated with the extent of proliferation of cells in the vessel wall, nor could the intensity of the limited proliferative changes have been responsible for narrowing of the vessel diameter.