Clinical outcomes of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage patients treated with oral diltiazem and limited intensive care management

Achilles K. Papavasiliou, Kimberly S. Harbaugh, Nancy J. Birkmeyer, James M. Feeney, Paul B. Martin, Charlotte Faccio, Robert E. Harbaugh

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10 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) patients are frequently treated with prophylactic nimodipine and undergo invasive monitoring of blood pressure and volume status in an intensive care unit (ICU) setting to decrease the incidence of delayed ischemic neurological deficit (DIND) and improve functional outcomes. The goal of this study was to examine the incidence of DIND and poor functional outcomes in a consecutive series of SAH patients treated with a different regimen of prophylactic oral diltiazem and limited use of intensive care monitoring. METHODS: The study involved a consecutive series of 123 aneurysmal SAH patients treated by the senior author who were admitted within 72 hours of hemorrhage and who never received nimodipine or nicardipine. Functional outcomes were graded using the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS).RESULTSOf the 123 patients identified, favorable outcomes (GOS 4 and 5) were achieved in 74.8%. The incidence of DIND was 19.5%. Hypertensive, hypervolemic, hemodilutional (HHH) therapy was used in 10 patients (8.1%) and no patients were treated for DIND by endovascular means. Seven patients (5.7%) had a poor functional outcome or death because of DIND and two of these were related to complications of HHH therapy. These results were compared to contemporary series of SAH patients managed with other treatment protocols. CONCLUSIONS: Functional outcomes of patients treated with a regimen of oral diltiazem, limited use of ICU monitoring and HHH therapy for DIND compare favorably with other contemporary series of SAH patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-146
Number of pages9
JournalSurgical Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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