, Volume 39, Issue 10, pp 751-759

Repeat intra-arterial papaverine for recurrent cerebral vasospasm after subarachnoid haemorrhage

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We assessed the prevalence of recurrent vasospasm following failure of intra-arterial papaverine and the efficacy of repeat intra-arterial infusions of papaverine for control of recurrent vasospasm. Of 24 patients treated with intra-arterial papaverine for vasospasm following aneurysm surgery, 12 did not improve clinically after the initial treatment; 9 received second or third infusions on consecutive days; 6 received only a second infusion; and 3 received a third. Superselective infusion into the intracranial arteries was performed in all nine cases. Despite angiographic improvement after the initial or second infusions, all nine patients showed varying degrees of recurrent vasospasm at the time of the second or third treatment. Within 24 h of a second infusion, three of the six patients had significant clinical improvement, and one of these showed marked improvement soon after a third infusion. Our preliminary results suggest that repeat papaverine infusion may be a way of controlling recurrent or recalcitrant vasospasm.

Received: 14 October 1996 Accepted: 16 December 1996