Huang, R., Jiang, F., Feng, Z. et al. Acta Neurol Belg (2013) 113: 3. doi:10.1007/s13760-012-0142-x
Nicardipine is a dihydropyridine-type Ca2+ channel blocker with a powerful antihypertensive activity and a unique cerebrovascular profile. Recent studies have examined nicardipine for the treatment of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH), but have shown inconsistent results. In the current study, a meta-analysis was performed to assess the clinical effectiveness of nicardipine in the prevention of cerebral vasospasm in patients who had suffered from aneurysmal SAH. Medline, EMBASE, and PubMed databases were searched for the controlled trials evaluating nicardipine for treating SAH after a ruptured aneurysm, without language restrictions. Moreover, a manual search of the bibliographies of relevant articles was also conducted. Two researchers of the present study independently performed the literature search and the data extraction. The meta-analyses were performed using the software RevMan 4.2.10 (provided by the Cochrane Collaboration, Oxford, UK). Five published manuscripts involving 1,154 patients were included in this meta-analysis. Nicardipine infusion reduced the risk of poor outcome (death, vegetative state, or dependency) and mortality, with an odds ratio (OR) of 0.58 [95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.37–0.90] and 0.45 (95 % CI 0.15–1.29), respectively. This meta-analysis suggests that nicardipine therapy reduces the likelihood of poor outcome and mortality in patients after aneurysmal SAH.