Cerebral blood flow velocity response to magnesium sulfate in patients after subarachnoid hemorrhage


Brewer RP, Parra A, Lynch J, Chilukuri V, Borel CO




J Neurosurg Anesthesiol


Magnesium sulfate therapy, standard in preventing seizures in preeclampsia, is under active investigation as a neuroprotective agent. The authors studied the effect of magnesium as a cerebral vasodilator by measuring the cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV) response to a 5g intravenous bolus of MgSO4 compared with a saline placebo after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) was measured after each infusion. Patients were studied up to three times after SAH at prescribed time intervals. Fourteen patients (11 women, 3 men; mean age 58 years) underwent 29 studies. All patients underwent hypertensive, hypervolemic therapy. Four patients developed cerebral vasospasm. Doubling serum magnesium levels did not affect MCA CBFV but slightly lowered mean arterial blood pressure and systemic vascular resistance. Intravenous magnesium bolus did not reduce elevated CBFV in the subset of SAH patients with clinical vasospasm. The role of magnesium sulfate as a cerebral vasodilator in patients with SAH requires further study.