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Papers of the Week

2022 May 31

Neurol Int



Reversible Cerebral Vasoconstriction Syndrome in the Postpartum Period: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.


Pacheco K, Ortiz J F, Parwani J, Cruz C, Yépez M, Buj M, Khurana M, Ojeda D, Iturburu A, Aguirre AS, Yuen R, Datta S
Neurol Int. 2022 May 31; 14(2):488-496.
PMID: 35736621.


(1) Background: Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) encompasses a clinical and radiological diagnosis characterized by recurrent thunderclap headache, with or without focal deficits due to multifocal arterial vasoconstriction and dilation. RCVS can be correlated to pregnancy and exposure to certain drugs. Currently, the data on prevalence of RCVS in the postpartum period is lacking. We aim to investigate the prevalence of RCVS in the postpartum period and the rate of hemorrhagic complications of RCVS among the same group of patients; (2) Methods: We conducted the metanalysis by using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA), and Meta-Analyses and Systematic Reviews of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) protocol. To analyze the Bias, we used the Ottawa Newcastle scale tool. We included only full-text observational studies conducted on humans and written in English. We excluded Literature Reviews, Systematic Reviews, and Metanalysis. Additionally, we excluded articles that did not document the prevalence of RCVS in the postpartum period (3). Results: According to our analysis, the Prevalence of RCVS in the postpartum period was 129/1083 (11.9%). Of these, 51/100 (52.7%) patients had hemorrhagic RCVS vs. 49/101 (49.5%) with non-hemorrhagic RCVS. The rates of Intracerebral Hemorrhage (ICH) and Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (SAH) were (51.6% and 10.7%, respectively. ICH seems to be more common than.; (4) Conclusions: Among patients with RCVS, the prevalence in PP patients is relativity high. Pregnant women with RCVS have a higher recurrence of hemorrhagic vs. non-hemorrhagic RCVS. Regarding the type of Hemorrhagic RCVS, ICH is more common than SAH among patients in the postpartum period. Female Sex, history of migraine, and older age group (above 45) seem to be risk factors for H-RCVS. Furthermore, recurrence of RCVS is associated with a higher age group (above 45). Recurrence of RCVS is more commonly idiopathic than being triggered by vasoactive drugs in the postpartum period.