Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome and Female Sex: A Narrative Review

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Abstract

Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) refers to segmental, multifocal constriction of intracranial arteries along with acute headache and resolves within weeks. It occurs more commonly in women, and 1 well-known manifestation of RCVS is postpartum angiopathy. Furthermore, the female sex is included in scoring systems designed to assist with diagnosing RCVS. Nonetheless, the literature is mixed regarding the true role of female and pregnancy-related factors in the pathophysiology of RCVS, and it is similarly unclear whether management of this disorder differs by sex. Given the association of RCVS with female sex and the importance of highlighting, recognizing, and managing stroke etiologies in women, herein, the author reviews what is currently known and unknown about the topic of RCVS in women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1117
Number of pages5
JournalStroke
Volume55
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • female
  • headache
  • intracranial hemorrhage
  • ischemic stroke
  • subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • vasoconstriction

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