mRNA Expression Profiles from Whole Blood Associated with Vasospasm in Patients with Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Huichun Xu, Boryana Stamova, Bradley P. Ander, Ben Waldau, Glen Clifford Jickling, Frank R. Sharp, Nerissa U. Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Though there are many biomarker studies of plasma and serum in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), few have examined blood cells that might contribute to vasospasm. In this study, we evaluated inflammatory and prothrombotic pathways by examining mRNA expression in whole blood of SAH patients with and without vasospasm. Methods: Adult SAH patients with vasospasm (n = 29) and without vasospasm (n = 21) were matched for sex, race/ethnicity, and aneurysm treatment method. Diagnosis of vasospasm was made by angiography. mRNA expression was measured by Affymetrix Human Exon 1.0 ST Arrays. SAH patients with vasospasm were compared to those without vasospasm by ANCOVA to identify differential gene, exon, and alternatively spliced transcript expression. Analyses were adjusted for age, batch, and time of blood draw after SAH. Results: At the gene level, there were 259 differentially expressed genes between SAH patients with vasospasm compared to patients without (false discovery rate < 0.05, |fold change| ≥ 1.2). At the exon level, 1210 exons representing 1093 genes were differentially regulated between the two groups (P < 0.005, ≥ 1.2 |fold change|). Principal components analysis segregated SAH patients with and without vasospasm. Signaling pathways for the 1093 vasospasm-related genes included adrenergic, P2Y, ET-1, NO, sildenafil, renin–angiotensin, thrombin, CCR3, CXCR4, MIF, fMLP, PKA, PKC, CRH, PPARα/RXRα, and calcium. Genes predicted to be alternatively spliced included IL23A, RSU1, PAQR6, and TRIP6. Conclusions: This is the first study to demonstrate that mRNA expression in whole blood distinguishes SAH patients with vasospasm from those without vasospasm and supports a role of coagulation and immune systems in vasospasm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNeurocritical Care
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • Aneurysm
  • Delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI)
  • Microarray
  • RNA
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Vasospasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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