YKL-40 is a newly discovered matrix protein that is thought to be released during the acute stages of inflammation. It has recently been speculated that YKL-40 may serve as a specific serological marker of neutrophil function at the site of tissue inflammation. Our aim was to determine whether the levels of YKL-40 in both the cerebrospinal fluid and sera of 22 patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage were associated with either vasospasm or outcome. The levels were also compared with those of 16 control patients with hydrocephalus. We found that patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage had significantly higher YKL-40 levels in both cerebrospinal fluid and serum than controls. However, elevated YKL-40 levels were not associated with symptomatic vasospasm or 6-month outcome. We show that elevated YKL-40 levels are not correlated with the severity of subarachnoid haemorrhage and cannot be used as a serological marker of inflammation in patients with an aneurysm rupture. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.