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The impact of hypertonic saline on cerebrovascular reactivity and compensatory reserve in traumatic brain injury: an exploratory analysis.

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Froese, Logan 
Dian, Joshua 
Batson, Carleen 
Gomez, Alwyn 
Unger, Bertram 


BACKGROUND: Intravenous hypertonic saline is utilized commonly in critical care for treatment of acute or refractory elevations of intracranial pressure (ICP) in traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients. Though there is a clear understanding of the general physiological effects of a hypertonic saline solution over long periods of time, smaller epoch effects of hypertonic saline (HTS) have not been thoroughly analyzed. The aim of this study was to perform a direct evaluation of the high-frequency response of HTS on the cerebrovascular physiological responses in TBI. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed our prospectively maintained adult TBI database for those with archived high-frequency cerebral physiology and available HTS treatment information. We evaluated different epochs of physiology around HTS bolus dosing, comparing pre- with post-HTS. We assessed for changes in slow fluctuations in ICP, pulse amplitude of ICP (AMP), cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), cerebrovascular reactivity (as measured through pressure reactivity index (PRx)), and cerebral compensatory reserve (correlation (R) between AMP (A) and ICP (P)). Comparisons of mean measures and percentage time above clinically relevant thresholds for the physiological parameters were compared pre- and post-HTS using descriptive statistics and Mann-Whitney U testing. We assessed for subgroups of physiological responses using latent profile analysis (LPA). RESULTS: Fifteen patients underwent 69 distinct bolus infusions of hypertonic saline. Apart from the well-documented decrease in ICP, there was also a reduction in AMP. The analysis of cerebrovascular reactivity response to HTS solution had two main effects. For patients with grossly impaired cerebrovascular reactivity pre-HTS (PRx > + 0.30), HTS bolus led to improved reactivity. However, for those with intact cerebrovascular reactivity pre-HTS (PRx < 0), HTS bolus demonstrated a trend towards more impaired reactivity. This indicates that HTS has different impacts, dependent on pre-bolus cerebrovascular status. There was no significant change in metrics of cerebral compensatory reserve. LPA failed to demonstrate any subgroups of physiological responses to HTS administration. CONCLUSIONS: The direct decrease in ICP and AMP confirms that a bolus dose of a HTS solution is an effective therapeutic agent for intracranial hypertension. However, in patients with intact autoregulation, hypertonic saline may impair cerebral hemodynamics. These findings regarding cerebrovascular reactivity remain preliminary and require further investigation.



Cerebrovascular circulation, Cerebrovascular response, Hypertonic saline, Intracranial pressure, Pressure reactivity index, Sodium chloride, Adult, Arterial Pressure, Brain Injuries, Traumatic, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Female, Hemodynamics, Humans, Intracranial Hypertension, Intracranial Pressure, Male, Middle Aged, Retrospective Studies, Saline Solution, Hypertonic, Young Adult

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Acta Neurochir (Wien)

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC