Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome: current and future perspectives

Expert Rev Neurother. 2011 Sep;11(9):1265-76. doi: 10.1586/ern.11.112.


Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndromes (RCVS) are characterized by recurrent acute severe headaches, namely thunderclap headaches, and multifocal segmental vasoconstrictions. Interest has arisen in the definitions, clinical presentations, differential diagnoses, risk factors and complications of RCVS. This article will comprehensively review the milestone monographs and the latest research work addressing these issues. Studies that have focused on the relationship between RCVS and thunderclap headache will be detailed. We will also discuss research on the enigmatic pathophysiology and potential therapeutic approaches. Up-to-date information and challenges, undergoing studies and future research directions will be deeply probed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / blood supply
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Headache / complications
  • Headache / diagnosis
  • Headache / etiology
  • Headache / physiopathology
  • Headache Disorders, Primary / diagnosis
  • Headache Disorders, Primary / etiology
  • Headache Disorders, Primary / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Vasoconstriction
  • Vasospasm, Intracranial / complications
  • Vasospasm, Intracranial / diagnosis
  • Vasospasm, Intracranial / etiology
  • Vasospasm, Intracranial / physiopathology*