JOURNAL ARTICLE

Effects of continuous hypertonic saline infusion on perihemorrhagic edema evolution

Ingrid Wagner, Eva-Maria Hauer, Dimitre Staykov, Bastian Volbers, Arnd Dörfler, Stefan Schwab, Jürgen Bardutzky
Stroke; a Journal of Cerebral Circulation 2011, 42 (6): 1540-5
21512173

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Mass effect of hematoma and the associated perihematomal edema are commonly responsible for neurological deterioration after intracerebral hemorrhage. Efficacy of surgical and medical therapy is limited. We studied the effect of early continuous hypertonic saline infusion on development of perihematomal edema after severe spontaneous supratentorial hemorrhage.

METHODS: Patients with spontaneous lobar and basal ganglia/thalamic bleeding >30 mL (n=26) were treated with early (<72 hours) continuous hypertonic saline infusion (3%) to achieve sodium of 145 to 155 mmol/L and osmolality of 310 to 320 mOsmol/kg. Evolution of absolute edema volume and relative edema volume (ratio absolute edema volume/initial hematoma volume) was assessed on repeated cranial CT and compared to historical patients (n=64) identified on database with hematoma >30 mL.

RESULTS: In the treatment group, absolute edema volume was significant smaller between day 8 and day 14 (P(absolute edema volume)= 0.04) and relative edema volume was significant smaller between day 2 and day 14 (P(relative edema volume)=0.02). Intracranial pressure crisis (>20 mm Hg for >20 minutes or new anisocoria) occurred less frequently in the treatment group (12 versus 56; P=0.048). In-hospital mortality was 3 (11.5%) in the hypertonic saline group and 16 (25%) in the control group (P=0.078). Side effects theoretically associated with hypertonic saline including cardiac arrhythmia and acute heart and renal failure occurred in both groups to a similar extent.

CONCLUSIONS: Early and continuous infusion of hypertonic saline in patients with severe spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage was feasible and safe. The beneficial effect of this treatment regimen on edema evolution and outcome has to be demonstrated in a controlled trial.

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