Mannitol or hypertonic saline in the setting of traumatic brain injury: What have we learned?

Myles Dustin Boone, Achikam Oren-Grinberg, Timothy Matthew Robinson, Clark C Chen, Ekkehard M Kasper
Surgical Neurology International 2015, 6: 177

BACKGROUND: Intracranial hypertension, defined as an intracranial pressure (ICP) >20 mmHg for a period of more than 5 min, worsens neurologic outcome in traumatic brain injury (TBI). While several mechanisms contribute to poor outcome, impaired cerebral perfusion appears to be a highly significant common denominator. Management guidelines from the Brain Trauma Foundation recommend measuring ICP to guide therapy. In particular, hyperosmolar therapy, which includes mannitol or hypertonic saline (HTS), is frequently administered to reduce ICP. Currently, mannitol (20%) is considered the gold standard hyperosmolar agent. However, HTS is increasingly used in this setting. This review sought to compare the efficacy of mannitol to HTS in severe TBI.

METHODS: The PubMed database was used to systematically search for articles comparing mannitol to HTS in severe TBI. The following medical subject headings were used: HTS, sodium lactate, mannitol, ICP, intracranial hypertension, and TBI. We included both prospective and retrospective randomized controlled studies of adult patients with intracranial hypertension as a result of severe TBI who received hyperosmolar therapy.

RESULTS: Out of 45 articles, seven articles were included in our review: 5 were prospective, randomized trials; one was a prospective, nonrandomized trial; and one was a retrospective, cohort study.

CONCLUSIONS: While all seven studies found that both mannitol and HTS were effective in reducing ICP, there was heterogeneity with regard to which agent was most efficacious.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"