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Subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) is a subtype of stroke that predominantly impacts younger individuals. It is associated with high mortality rates and can cause long-term disabilities. This review examines the contribution of the initial blood load and the dynamics of clot clearance to the pathophysiology of SAH and the risk of adverse outcomes. These outcomes include hydrocephalus and delayed cerebral ischaemia (DCI), with a particular focus on the impact of blood located in the cisternal spaces, as opposed to ventricular blood, in the development of DCI. The literature described underscores the prognostic value of haematoma characteristics, such as volume, density, and anatomical location. The limitations of traditional radiographic grading systems are discussed, compared with the more accurate volumetric quantification techniques for predicting patient prognosis. Further, the significance of red blood cells (RBCs) and their breakdown products in secondary brain injury after SAH is explored. The review presents novel interventions designed to accelerate clot clearance or mitigate the effects of toxic byproducts released from erythrolysis in the cerebrospinal fluid following SAH. In conclusion, this review offers deeper insights into the complex dynamics of SAH and discusses the potential pathways available for advancing its management.

Original publication




Journal article


Transl Stroke Res

Publication Date



Blood volume, Haemoglobin, Haptoglobin, Lumbar drain, Neurapheresis, Subarachnoid haemorrhage