Westermaier T, Stetter C, Vince GH, Pham M, Tejon JP, Eriskat J, Kunze E, Matthies C, Ernestus RI, Solymosi L, Roosen KProphylactic intravenous magnesium sulfate for treatment of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage: a randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical study. Crit Care Med 38:1284-1290

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany.
Critical care medicine (Impact Factor: 6.31). 03/2010; 38(5):1284-90. DOI: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e3181d9da1e
Source: PubMed


To examine whether the maintenance of elevated magnesium serum concentrations by intravenous administration of magnesium sulfate can reduce the occurrence of cerebral ischemic events after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study.
Neurosurgical intensive care unit of a University hospital.
One hundred ten patients were randomized to receive intravenous magnesium sulfate or to serve as controls. Magnesium treatment was started with a bolus of 16 mmol, followed by continuous infusion of 8 mmol/hr. Serum concentrations were measured every 8 hrs, and infusion rates were adjusted to maintain target levels of 2.0-2.5 mmol/L. Intravenous administration was continued for 10 days or until signs of vasospasm had resolved. Thereafter, magnesium was administered orally and tapered over 12 days.
Delayed ischemic infarction (primary end point) was assessed by analyzing serial computed tomography scans. Transcranial Doppler sonography and digital subtraction angiography were used to detect vasospasm. Delayed ischemic neurologic deficit was determined by continuous detailed neurologic examinations; clinical outcome after 6 months was assessed using the Glasgow outcome scale. Good outcome was defined as Glasgow outcome scale score 4 and 5.The incidence of delayed ischemic infarction was significantly lower in magnesium-treated patients (22% vs. 51%; p = .002); 34 of 54 magnesium patients and 27 of 53 control patients reached good outcome (p = .209). Delayed ischemic neurologic deficit was nonsignificantly reduced (9 of 54 vs. 15 of 53 patients; p = .149) and transcranial Doppler-detected/angiographic vasospasm was significantly reduced in the magnesium group (36 of 54 vs. 45 of 53 patients; p = .028). Fewer patients with signs of vasospasm had delayed cerebral infarction.
These data indicate that high-dose intravenous magnesium can reduce cerebral ischemic events after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage by attenuating vasospasm and increasing the ischemic tolerance during critical hypoperfusion.

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    • "(i) Outcome measured by GOS was the same at six months after treatment (ii) Incidence of CVS was similar in both groups Westermaier et al., 2010 [42] "
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    ABSTRACT: Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is characterized by bleeding into the subarachnoid space, often caused by ruptured aneurysm. Aneurysmal rupture occurs in 700,000 individuals per year worldwide, with 40,000 cases taking place in the United States. Beyond the high mortality associated with SAH alone, morbidity and mortality are further increased with the occurrence of cerebral vasospasm, a pathologic constriction of blood vessels that can lead to delayed ischemic neurologic deficits (DIND). Treatment of cerebral vasospasm is a source of contention. One extensively studied therapy is Magnesium (Mg) as both a competitive antagonist of calcium at the N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, and a noncompetitive antagonist of both IP3 and voltage-gated calcium channels, leading to smooth muscle relaxation. In our literature review, several animal and human studies are summarized in addition to two Phase III trials assessing the use of intravenous Mg in the treatment of SAH (IMASH and MASH-2). Though many studies have shown promise for the use of Mg in SAH, there has been inconsistency in study design and outcomes. Furthermore, the results of the recently completed clinical trials have shown no significant benefit from using intravenous Mg as adjuvant therapy in the treatment of cerebral vasospasm.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Neurology Research International
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    • "The results of Schmid-Elsaesser et al. showing no significant difference between nimodipine treatment and magnesium treatment, challenge the routine use of nimodipine in aneurysmal SAH [51]. The comparison of magnesium treatment to a true placebo group to prevent secondary neurological deficits after SAH showed promising results [19,50] The bioavailability may still be improved by a clinical dose-finding study. Even after continuous high-dose treatment, however, CSF levels remain markedly lower than serum levels [19] (Figure 2). "
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    ABSTRACT: This article reviews experimental and clinical data on the use of magnesium as a neuroprotective agent in various conditions of cerebral ischemia. Whereas magnesium has shown neuroprotective properties in animal models of global and focal cerebral ischemia, this effect could not be reproduced in a large human stroke trial. These conflicting results may be explained by the timing of treatment. While treatment can be started before or early after ischemia in experimental studies, there is an inevitable delay of treatment in human stroke. Magnesium administration to women at risk for preterm birth has been investigated in several randomized controlled trials and was found to reduce the risk of neurological deficits for the premature infant. Postnatal administration of magnesium to babies after perinatal asphyxia has been studied in a number of controlled clinical trials. The results are promising but the trials have, so far, been underpowered. In aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), cerebral ischemia arises with the onset of delayed cerebral vasospasm several days after aneurysm rupture. Similar to perinatal asphyxia in impending preterm delivery, treatment can be started prior to ischemia. The results of clinical trials are conflicting. Several clinical trials did not show an additive effect of magnesium with nimodipine, another calcium antagonist which is routinely administered to SAH patients in many centers. Other trials found a protective effect after magnesium therapy. Thus, it may still be a promising substance in the treatment of secondary cerebral ischemia after aneurysmal SAH. Future prospects of magnesium therapy are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Experimental and Translational Stroke Medicine
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    • "They concluded that their results do not support a clinical benefit from the intravenous administration ofmagnesiumsulfate [90]. Contrariwise, Westermaier et al. [91] examined whether the maintenance of elevatedmagnesiumserum concentrations by the intravenous administration ofmagnesiumsulfate can reduce the occurrence of cerebral ischemic events after aSAH in a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study. They concluded that high-dose intravenousmagnesiumcan reduce cerebral ischemic events by attenuating vasospasm and also by increasing the ischemic tolerance during critical cerebral hypoperfusion. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage- (aSAH-) associated vasospasm constitutes a clinicopathological entity, in which reversible vasculopathy, impaired autoregulatory function, and hypovolemia take place, and lead to the reduction of cerebral perfusion and finally ischemia. Cerebral vasospasm begins most often on the third day after the ictal event and reaches the maximum on the 5th-7th postictal days. Several therapeutic modalities have been employed for preventing or reversing cerebral vasospasm. Triple "H" therapy, balloon and chemical angioplasty with superselective intra-arterial injection of vasodilators, administration of substances like magnesium sulfate, statins, fasudil hydrochloride, erythropoietin, endothelin-1 antagonists, nitric oxide progenitors, and sildenafil, are some of the therapeutic protocols, which are currently employed for managing patients with aSAH. Intense pathophysiological mechanism research has led to the identification of various mediators of cerebral vasospasm, such as endothelium-derived, vascular smooth muscle-derived, proinflammatory mediators, cytokines and adhesion molecules, stress-induced gene activation, and platelet-derived growth factors. Oral, intravenous, or intra-arterial administration of antagonists of these mediators has been suggested for treating patients suffering a-SAH vasospam. In our current study, we attempt to summate all the available pharmacological treatment modalities for managing vasospasm.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Neurology Research International
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