Diluted Papaverine for Microvascular Protection of Cranial Nerves

  • Alberto Campione
  • Carlo Giacobbo Scavo
  • Guglielmo Cacciotti
  • Raffaelino Roperto
  • Luciano Mastronardi


Silent cerebral vasospasm following surgical resection of vestibular schwannomas is much more common than previously thought. This might mean that the cerebral circulation shows a high reactivity to surgical trauma, and it can be hypothesized that this happens not only in elastic and muscular arteries but also in arterioles—and especially those within the cerebellopontine angle. From this perspective, prevention of vasospasm is useful for microvascular protection of the cranial nerves. Papaverine is known to be a potent vasodilator directly acting on smooth muscle and causing it to relax. Intra-arterial administration of papaverine has been used to treat arterial vasospasm after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. When applied topically, it acts as a smooth muscle relaxant to break intraoperative vasospasm. The most important side effects of topical papaverine in vestibular schwannoma surgery are transient palsies of facial and cochlear nerves. It has been proposed that intracisternal papaverine at a concentration of 0.3% would be reasonably safe.


Vestibular schwannoma/vasospasm Vestibular schwannoma/papaverine Vestibular schwannoma/facial palsy Vestibular schwannoma/cochlear nerve 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alberto Campione
    • 1
  • Carlo Giacobbo Scavo
    • 1
  • Guglielmo Cacciotti
    • 1
  • Raffaelino Roperto
    • 1
  • Luciano Mastronardi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgerySan Filippo Neri Hospital—ASLRoma1RomeItaly

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