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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2016 September;60(3):385-91

language: English

Role of nitric oxide and mechanisms involved in cerebral injury after subarachnoid hemorrhage: is nitric oxide a possible answer to cerebral vasospasm?

Emanuela CROBEDDU 1, Giulia PILLONI 1, Valentina TARDIVO 1, Marco M. FONTANELLA 2, Pier Paolo PANCIANI 2, Giannantonio SPENA 2, Riccardo FORNARO 1, Roberto ALTIERI 1, Alessandro AGNOLETTI 1, Marco AJELLO 1, Francesco ZENGA 1, Alessandro DUCATI 1, Diego GARBOSSA 1

1 Division of Neurosurgery, Department of Neurological Sciences, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 2 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy


Cerebral vasospasm represents the most critical event that could occur after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Therapy is only partially effective because cerebral arterial constriction is not fully understood yet. One of the most important biological messenger associated to SAH is nitric oxide (NO), that is considered local regulator of cerebral blood flow. Different nitric oxide synthase (NOS) forms play a role in different biological processes, one of which is to link neuronal activity to blood flow in cerebral cortex. We performed a reassessment of the literature to summarize the role of NO as the main inflammatory pathway activated after SAH to clarify its importance for treatment of vasospasm.

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