Objective: To investigate the role of prophylactic hyperdynamic postoperative fluid therapy in preventing delayed ischemic neurological deficits attributable to cerebral vasospasm.
Methods: We designed a prospected, randomized, controlled study and included 32 patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage. Sixteen patients received hypervolemic hypertensive hemodilution fluid therapy; the other 16 patients received normovolemic fluid therapy. All patients were monitored for at least 12 days, with clinical assessments, transcranial Doppler recordings, single-photon emission computed tomographic (SPECT) scanning, and routine computed tomographic scanning. For fluid balance monitoring, a number of blood samples were obtained on a daily basis and continuous central venous pressure and mean arterial blood pressure measurements were performed for both groups. All patients received intravenous nimodipine infusions between Day 1 and Day 12. End points of this study were clinical outcomes, clinically evident and transcranial Doppler sonography-evident vasospasm, SPECT findings, complications, and costs. Clinical examinations (using the Glasgow Outcome Scale) performed 1 year after discharge, together with neuropsychological assessments and SPECT scanning, were the basis for the evaluation of clinical outcomes.
Results: No differences were observed between the two groups with respect to cerebral vasospasm (as observed clinically or on transcranial Doppler recordings). When regional cerebral blood flow was evaluated by means of SPECT analysis performed on Day 12 after subarachnoid hemorrhage, no differences were revealed. One-year clinical follow-up assessments (with the Glasgow Outcome Scale), including SPECT findings and neuropsychological function results, did not demonstrate any significant group differences. Costs were higher and complications were more frequent for the hyperdynamic therapy group.
Conclusion: Neither early nor late outcome measures revealed any significant differences between the two subarachnoid hemorrhage treatment models.