Effects of hypertonic saline hydroxyethyl starch solution and mannitol in patients with increased intracranial pressure after stroke

S Schwarz, S Schwab, M Bertram, A Aschoff, W Hacke
Stroke; a Journal of Cerebral Circulation 1998, 29 (8): 1550-5

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to prospectively evaluate a protocol with hypertonic saline hydroxyethyl starch (HS-HES) and mannitol in stroke patients with increased intracranial pressure (ICP).

METHODS: We studied 30 episodes of ICP crisis in 9 patients. ICP crisis was defined as (1) a rise of ICP of more than 25 mm Hg (n = 22), or (2) pupillary abnormality (n=3), or (3) a combination of both (n=5). Baseline treatment was performed according to a standardized protocol. For initial treatment, the patients were randomly assigned to either infusion of 100 mL HS-HES or 40 g mannitol over 15 minutes. For repeated treatments the 2 substances were alternated. ICP, blood pressure, and cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) were monitored over 4 hours. Blood gases, hematocrit, blood osmolarity, and sodium were measured before and 15 and 60 minutes after the start of infusion. Treatment was regarded as effective if ICP decreased >10% below baseline value or if the pupillary reaction had normalized.

RESULTS: Treatment was effective in all 16 HS-HES-treated and in 10 of 14 mannitol-treated episodes. ICP decreased from baseline values in both groups, P < 0.01. The maximum ICP decrease was 11.4 mm Hg (after 25 minutes) in the HS-HES-treated group and 6.4 mm Hg (after 45 minutes) in the mannitol-treated group. There was no constant effect on CPP in the HS-HES-treated group, whereas CPP rose significantly in the mannitol-treated group. Blood osmolarity rose by 6.2 mmol/L in the mannitol-treated group and by 10.5 mmol/L in the HS-HES-treated group; sodium fell by 3.2 mmol/L in the mannitol and rose by 4.1 mmol/L in the HS-HES-treated group.

CONCLUSIONS: Infusion of 40 g mannitol and 100 mL HS-HES decreases increased ICP after stroke. The maximum effect occurs after the end of infusion and is visible over 4 hours. HS-HES seems to lower ICP more effectively but does not increase CPP as much as does mannitol.

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