Based on the previously suggested hypothesis that the generation of free radicals leading to lipid peroxidation is involved in the genesis of vasospasm and vasculopathy following subarachnoid hemorrhage, the therapeutic effect of EGb 761 as an antioxidant on experimental vasospasm and vasculopathy was evaluated in a double hemorrhage dog model of chronic cerebral vasospasm. For this study 14 dogs were randomly assigned to two groups, a control and a Ginkgo biloba group. The control group was only administered saline in a volume equivalent to a dose of 100 mgEGb 761/kg while the treatment group was given 100 mg EGb 761/kg. The diameter of the basilar artery decreased from 1.95+/-0.16 mm at day 0 to 1.11+/-0.07 mm at day 8 in the control group, while in the treatment group the vessel diameter decreased from 2.01+/-0.17 mm at day 0 to 1.72+/-0.16 mm at day 8. These results correspond a decrease in vessel diameter of 15.1% in the treatment group and of 43.1% in the control group (P<0.05). Histopathological studies of the specimens obtained from basillar arteries showed that pathological signs of proliferative vasculopathy, including narrowing of the vessel lumen, corrugation of the lamina elastica and subendothelial thickening, were present in all the animals in the control group, while they could not be demonstrated in the Ginkgo biloba group. These results suggest that Ginkgo biloba may have a protective effect against subarachnoid hemorrhage-induced vasospasm and vasculopathy as a result of antioxidants.