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Effects of dihydroergotamine on intracranial pressure, cerebral blood flow, and cerebral metabolism in patients undergoing craniotomy for brain tumors.

Author(s): Bundgaard H, von Oettingen G, Jorgensen HA, Jensen K, Cold GE

Affiliation(s): Department of Neuroanesthesiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Publication date & source: 2001-07, J Neurosurg Anesthesiol., 13(3):195-201.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Comparative Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

In a search for a nonsurgical intervention to control intracranial hypertension during craniotomy, the authors studied the effects of dihydroergotamine on mean arterial blood pressure (MABP), intracranial pressure (ICP), cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP), cerebral blood flow (CBF), and cerebral metabolism in patients who underwent craniotomy for supratentorial brain tumors. Twenty patients were randomized to receive either dihydroergotamine 0.25 mg intravenously or placebo as a bolus dose during craniotomy. Anesthesia was induced with thiopental/fentanyl/atracurium, and maintained with isoflurane/N2O/fentanyl at normocapnia. After removal of the bone flap and exposure of intact dura, ICP was measured subdurally and dihydroergotamine/placebo was administered. Intracranial pressure and MABP were measured continuously. Cerebral blood flow (after intravenous administration of 133Xe) and arteriojugular venous difference of oxygen (AVDO2) were measured before, and 30 minutes after, dihydroergotamine/placebo administration. Cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) was calculated. After administration of dihydroergotamine, a significant increase in MABP from 74 to 87 mm Hg (median) and CPP from 65 to 72 mm Hg (median) were found. Simultaneously to the increase in MABP, a significant increase in ICP from 9.5 to 11.5 mm Hg (median) was disclosed, whereas no significant differences in CBF, AVDO2, or CMRO2 were found. Intracranial pressure was significantly higher after dihydroergotamine than after placebo. In conclusion, no ICP decreasing effect of a bolus dose of dihydroergotamine was found when administered to patients with brain tumors during isoflurane/N2O anesthesia. Corresponding increases in MABP and ICP suggest that abolished cerebral autoregulation might explain why dihydroergotamine was associated with an ICP increase.

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