Date: 09 Dec 2012

Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome: A Review of Recent Research

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Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) is a collective term used for transient noninflammatory, nonatherosclerotic segmental constriction of cerebral arteries. The angiopathies of RCVS have previously been defined by several nomenclatures. Current opinion favors the unification of these pathophysiologically related angiopathies because of their similar angiographic features and clinical course. RCVS typically presents acutely as headache, delirium, seizure, cerebral ischemia, and/or hemorrhage. The angiographic features make RCVS an important mimic of CNS vasculitides. In contrast to CNS vasculitis, RCVS is typically a transient condition with relatively good clinical outcomes. Although a complete understanding of the etiological and pathological features of RCVS has not yet been achieved, alterations in vascular tone lead to the observed arterial changes. In this review, we aim to provide a summary of RCVS and provide insight into current perspectives of the underlying pathophysiological processes, diagnosis, and treatment.