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J Neurosurg Anesthesiol. 1999 Jul;11(3):178-84.

Administration of hypertonic (3%) sodium chloride/acetate in hyponatremic patients with symptomatic vasospasm following subarachnoid hemorrhage.

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  • 1Division of Neurosciences Critical Care, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


A retrospective study was carried out to evaluate the effect of hypertonic (3%) saline chloride/acetate on various hemodynamic parameters in mildly hyponatremic patients with symptomatic vasospasm following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). We identified 29 hyponatremic (serum sodium < 135 mEq/L) patients who received hypertonic (3%) sodium chloride/acetate as a continuous infusion. Administration of hypertonic (3%) sodium chloride/acetate resulted in higher central venous pressures and positive fluid balance, with a concomitant increase in serum sodium and chloride concentrations without metabolic acidosis. There were no changes in mean cerebral blood flow velocities after infusion of hypertonic (3%) sodium chloride/acetate. We found no reports of congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema, metabolic acidosis, coagulopathy, intracranial hemorrhages, or central pontine myelinolysis in any of these patients. We conclude that hypertonic (3%) sodium chloride/acetate can be administered to patients with mild hyponatremia in the setting of symptomatic vasospasm following SAH without untoward effects. Sample size and limitations of a retrospective analysis preclude conclusions about safety and efficacy of hypertonic (3%) sodium chloride/acetate administration in this patient population. However, our results support justification for a prospective, randomized, double-blind trial of hypertonic (3%) sodium chloride/acetate versus normal saline in patients with symptomatic vasospasm following SAH.

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