In Vitro Models Of Vasospasm

In vitro models of vasospasm typically use an intracranial vessel that is harvested and either placed in a physiologic environment attached to a fixation device for recording of tension and other variables, or prepared for extraction of endothelial and smooth muscle cells for culture. The vessels can be harvested after exposure to blood in vivo or they can be harvested from a healthy animal for further experimental manipulation in vitro. Using these models, several pro-vasospastic agents have been characterized and some pharmacologic interventions have been proposed (19-24). Advantages of these in vitro models include a well-controlled environment, real-time observation of vascular tone and electrolyte changes, low cost, and an abundance of tissue for testing. Disadvantages include removal of the vessel from its natural environment, denervation of the arterial wall, absence of innate immunologic stimulus, and lack of prolonged injury and recovery periods. Due to these observations, the relevance of these models to human cerebral vasospasm has been questioned (25), and the injection and clot-placement models in animals remain more suitable alternatives.

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