Symptoms of a vasospasm can vary depending on the area of the body affected. When the condition occurs in the brain symptoms may include:
- Neck stiffness
- Difficulty with speaking
- Weakness on one side of the body
Patients who have experienced a cerebral vasospasm often also have stroke-like symptoms:
- Numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Trouble speaking
- Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Trouble walking
- Dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Severe headache with no known cause
When the condition occurs in the arms or legs, symptoms include:
- Sharp pain, often described as burning or stinging, at the affected area
- Finger or toe turning purple or blue
When a vasospasm develops in the coronary artery, the main symptom is chest pain often described as constricting, crushing, pressure, squeezing or tightness.
Causes and Risk Factors
Patients who have experienced hemorrhagic stroke are at an increased risk of developing a cerebral vasospasm. Patients with atherosclerosis, a condition where fatty deposits build up and harden on the inside of the arteries, are at an increased risk of developing coronary artery vasospasms.
Patients with Rynaud's Phenomenon are also at an increased risk of developing vasospasms in the toes or fingers.