Background. Cerebral vasospasm is one of the leading courses for disability in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Effective treatment of vasospasm is therefore one of the main priorities for these patients. We report about a case series of continuous intra-arterial infusion of the calcium channel antagonist nimodipine for 1-5 days on the intensive care unit. Methods. In thirty patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage and refractory vasospasm continuous infusion of nimodipine was started on the neurosurgical intensive care unit. The effect of nimodipine on brain perfusion, cerebral blood flow, brain tissue oxygenation, and blood flow velocity in cerebral arteries was monitored. Results. Based on Hunt & Hess grades on admission, 83% survived in a good clinical condition and 23% recovered without an apparent neurological deficit. Persistent ischemic areas were seen in 100% of patients with GOS 1-3 and in 69% of GOS 4-5 patients. Regional cerebral blood flow and computed tomography perfusion scanning showed adequate correlation with nimodipine application and angiographic vasospasm. Transcranial Doppler turned out to be unreliable with interexaminer variance and failure of detecting vasospasm or missing the improvement. Conclusion. Local continuous intra-arterial nimodipine treatment for refractory cerebral vasospasm after aSAH can be recommended as a low-risk treatment in addition to established endovascular therapies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)