The in vivo spasmogenic capacity of a lipid hydroperoxide (15-hydroperoxy arachidonic acid: 15-HPAA) was studied in a chronic experiment using the dog. The 15-HPAA was injected into the cisterna magna (0.2 or 2 mg emulsified in bovine serum albumin solution). The changes in diameter of the basilar artery were followed by angiography, and the morphological changes were studied by electron microscopy. The cisternal injection of 0.2 mg of 15-HPAA caused a mild constriction of the basilar artery which lasted about 7 hours. The cisternal injection of 2 mg of 15-HPAA caused a biphasic constriction, the initial phase of which was a moderate narrowing lasting about 10 hours. The second phase started on the 2nd or the 3rd day after injection. The intensity of the arterial narrowing was more pronounced in the second phase than in the first. The prolonged secondary constriction of the basilar artery continued until sacrifice on the 7th day after injection. Electron microscopic study revealed a marked degenerative change in the endothelium and myonecrotic changes in the tunica media. The prolonged arterial constriction in the second phase was invariably associated with remarkable degeneration of the endothelium. On the other hand, myonecrotic changes were limited to a small number of smooth-muscle cells. The results of the present study are consonant with the hypothesis that lipid peroxidation associated with lysis of the subarachnoid clot is involved in the genesis of chronic vasospasm in subarachnoid hemorrhage.