Smooth Muscle Phenotype Switching in Blast Traumatic Brain Injury-Induced Cerebral Vasospasm

Eric S. Hald, Patrick W. Alford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Due to increased survival rates among soldiers exposed to explosive blasts, blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI) has become much more prevalent in recent years. Cerebral vasospasm (CVS) is a common manifestation of brain injury whose incidence is significantly increased in bTBI. CVS is characterized by initial vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) hypercontractility, followed by prolonged vessel remodeling and lumen occlusion, and is traditionally associated with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), but recent results suggest that mechanical injury during bTBI can cause mechanotransduced VSMC hypercontractility and phenotype switching necessary for CVS development, even in the absence of SAH. Here, we review the mechanisms by which mechanical stimulation and SAH can synergistically drive CVS progression, complicating treatment options in bTBI patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-393
Number of pages9
JournalTranslational Stroke Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Biomechanics
  • Blast traumatic brain injury
  • Cerebral vasospasm
  • Phenotype transformation
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Vascular smooth muscle cells


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