JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Intrathecal baclofen alleviates autonomic dysfunction in severe brain injury.

Sympathetic storm phenomena are well known therapeutic problems in patients with severe brain injury. We have treated four patients with intrathecal baclofen (ITB) who suffered from severe hypertension, tachycardia and other sympathetic storm phenomena after different primary events. In all patients conventional therapy with sedatives and antiadrenergic medication had been taken to the upper limits before initiating ITB. Autonomic dysfunction immediately improved in three of four patients. In all patients ITB, via lumbar or ventricular route, proved safe and without complications. The anatomical and pharmacological basis of the GABA-B agonist action on such sympathetic storm phenomena are not yet fully understood. However, the positive results observed in three out of four patients are promising and require further investigation. ITB is a new therapeutic approach to control otherwise unresponsive sympathetic storm phenomena in severe brain injury.

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