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Use of intrathecal nicardipine for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage-induced cerebral vasospasm.

Author(s): Ehtisham A, Taylor S, Bayless L, Samuels OB, Klein MW, Janzen JM

Affiliation(s): Neuroscience Critical Care Unit, Via Christi Regional Medical Center, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Wichita, KS 67214, USA. aehtisham@kumc.edu

Publication date & source: 2009-02, South Med J., 102(2):150-3.

Publication type: Case Reports

BACKGROUND: Cerebral vasospasm leading to delayed ischemia is a common and serious complication of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage that often results in increased morbidity and mortality. Treatments for cerebral vasospasm, including triple-H therapy (therapeutic hypervolemia, hypertension, and hemodilution), nimodipine, balloon angioplasty, and intra-arterial vasodilators have limitations in their efficacy and safety profiles. Nicardipine, a calcium channel blocker, is available for intravenous administration for blood pressure reduction. A recent study reported its efficacy in the treatment of cerebral vasospasm when given intrathecally (IT). We present our experiences with IT nicardipine for treatment of cerebral vasospasm. METHODS: IT nicardipine was administered to six patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage after prophylactic and aggressive therapeutic management for vasospasm failed. RESULTS: In these patients, IT nicardipine treatment was followed within 8 hours by a 43.1 +/- 31.0 cm/s decrease in middle cerebral arterial flow velocity, as measured by transcranial Doppler ultrasound. CONCLUSIONS: Based on these positive results, we believe that larger scale studies evaluating the safety and efficacy of IT nicardipine for the management of cerebral vasospasm are warranted.

Page last updated: 2009-10-20

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