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July 1959

Cerebral Vasospasm in Angiography for Intracranial Aneurysms: Incidence and Significance in One Hundred Consecutive Angiograms

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Departments of Neurological Surgery and Radiology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and from the Services of Neurological Surgery and Radiology, the Neurological Institute.

AMA Arch Neurol. 1959;1(1):38-47. doi:10.1001/archneur.1959.03840010040005

The concept of spasm of the cerebral arteries is of particular importance as regards its relationship to ruptured intracranial aneurysms. Vasospasm has long been suspected as a cause of cerebral ischemia in a variety of conditions, but proof of its occurrence in the human subject has been particularly difficult to obtain, for reasons that are obvious. The uncritical use of the term "vasospasm" as an explanation of cerebral ischemia in vascular disease of the brain has been rightly criticized by Denny-Brown1 and others. Pickering2 was of the opinion that true spasm is a rare condition. However, since the advent and widespread usage of cerebral angiography in the diagnosis of subarachnoid hemorrhage, it has become evident that spasm of the major cerebral arteries not infrequently occurs after the rupture of an intracranial aneurysm. Direct observation of the constricted vessels at surgery has been reported with increasing frequency since

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