Acute microvascular platelet aggregation after subarachnoid hemorrhage

Fatima A. Sehba, Gulam Mostafa, Victor Friedrich, Joshua B. Bederson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


Object. The mechanisms underlying acute cerebral ischemia after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) are not well established. Platelets aggregate within major cerebral vessels hours after SAH, but this has not been studied in the microvasculature. Platelet aggregates within the microvasculature could mechanically obstruct the lumen and initiate events that injure vessel structure. In the present study the authors examined the hypothesis that platelets aggregate within the cerebral microvasculature acutely after SAH. Methods. Subarachnoid hemorrhage was induced in the rat by using the endovascular perforation model. The animals were killed between 10 minutes and 48 hours after SAH. Immunostaining for the platelet surface receptor glycoprotein (GP)IIb/IIIa, which mediates platelet aggregation, was used to detect platelet aggregation. Sham-operated animals were used as controls. The GPIIb/IIIa immunoreactive platelet aggregates were abundant in the microvasculature of the basal and frontal cortex, striatum, and hippocampus 10 minutes after SAH. These aggregates decreased in number from 1 to 6 hours post-SAH and then increased to a peak at 24 hours. No immunoreactive aggregates were observed 48 hours after SAH. Conclusions. The data indicate that widespread platelet aggregation occurs very rapidly in response to SAH followed by a decrease within 6 hours and a subsequent increase 24 hours after SAH. Microvascular platelet aggregates may contribute to decreased cerebral blood flow and ischemic injury after SAH via a number of mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1094-1100
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Acute
  • Ischemia
  • Microvasculature
  • Platelet aggregation
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage


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