Introduction: Data collected from large number of multicenter, randomized trials in acute and chronic stroke patients provide evidence, that incidence and high mortality of cerebrovascular disorders can be decreased mainly by prevention and that the effectiveness of acute stroke treatment is limited. The terminology of "chronic cerebrovascular diseases" involves many pathologic entities and often atypical clinical symptoms refer to the focal or global hypoperfusion of the brain. However, hemorheological disturbances seem to be important factors of the complex pathomechanism. Vinpocetine has successfully been used in the treatment of cerebrovascular diseases, the part of the mechanism of action are the favourable rheological effects demonstrated after oral administration in more previous studies.
Aims and methods: In this study the hemorheological changes after administration of small (30 mg/day) and high dose (increased to 70 mg/day) intravenous vinpocetine for 7 days in 30 patients in chronic phase of ischemic cerebrovascular disease were investigated.
Results: High dose parenteral vinpocetine treatment significantly (p < 0.05-0.005) decreased the hematocrit, the whole blood and plasma viscosity and red blood cell aggregation compared to the values before the treatment. Only red blood cell aggregation was improved significantly (p < 0.05) by small dose treatment.
Conclusion: This study and other hemorheological studies in cerebrovascular patients demonstrated persistent rheological abnormalities despite the preventive therapy. The beneficial rheological effect of high dose parenteral vinpocetine indicates the use of this drug in the treatment of chronic cerebrovascular diseases.