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Neurology. 2000 Feb 22;54(4):872-8.

Randomized pilot trial of postoperative aspirin in subarachnoid hemorrhage.

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University Department of Neurology, Utrecht, The Netherlands.



To assess the safety and feasibility of a clinical trial on the effectiveness of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).


Several studies have indicated that increased platelet activity might be involved in the pathogenesis of delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) after SAH.


Fifty patients who had early surgery (< or =4 days) for a ruptured aneurysm were enrolled in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Trial medication, consisting of suppositories with 100 mg ASA versus placebo, was started immediately after surgical clipping of the aneurysm and continued for 21 days. End points were functional outcome and quality of life at 4 months, clinical deterioration after operation, development of DCI, hypodense lesion on postoperative CT, and hemorrhagic complications.


One-third of all patients with aneurysmal SAH were eligible for the trial. Fifteen of 26 patients receiving placebo deteriorated clinically versus 10 of 24 patients receiving ASA; 4 patients in each group deteriorated from DCI. Postoperative hypodensities on CT were observed in 27 patients, distributed equally in both groups. Functional outcome and quality-of-life scores were slightly in favor of patients who had received ASA, but not to a significant degree (p = 0.22). Two patients in the ASA group had an asymptomatic hemorrhagic complication, and one patient in the placebo group had a fatal and another a symptomatic hemorrhagic complication.


This pilot study shows that a clinical trial of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is feasible and probably safe. The effectiveness of ASA on functional outcome and delayed cerebral ischemia has to be studied in a larger trial.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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