Ruptured cerebral aneurysms
delayed ischaemic deficit
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary A prospective open multicenter study on the preventive effect of nimodipine on symptomatic vascular spasm was performed in 120 (consecutive) patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). All patients underwent early surgery (i.e. within 72 hours post SAH) and were in neurological grades I–III in Hunt and Hess. Grade IV and V as well as patients with significant intracerebral haematoma are not included. On preoperative CT, SAH was mild in 28 cases, moderate in 56 and severe in 36 cases. 25 patients (21%) were in grade I, 63 patients (53%) in grade II and 32 patients (26%) in grade III. The ruptured aneurysm was located on the anterior cerebral artery complex in 57 patients, on the internal carotid artery complex in 35, on the middle cerebral artery in 24 patients and on the basilar artery in 4 patients. After occlusion of the ruptured aneurysm, the lipophilic calcium channel blocker nimodipine was administered in the following manner: 1. Intraoperative, topical irrigation of the exposed arteries. 2. Intravenous infusion until day 7–14 after SAH followed by peroral medication for another week. Nimodipine was well tolerated and neither significant hypotension nor any other adverse reaction attributable to the drug was observed. Ischaemic cerebral dysfunction of delayed onset with permanent neurological deficit occurred in 2 patients (2%). Another 8 patients showed transient ischaemic symptoms. At 6 months follow-up, 93 % of the patients were classified as having made a full recovery, 16% as being minimally disabled, 5% as being moderately disabled and 3% as being severely disabled. Three patients had died. The present study supports the concept that preventive nimodipine treatment may reduce delayed ischaemic deficit in early aneurysm surgery.
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