Beta-blocker therapy and impact on outcome after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage: a cohort study

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OBJECTIVE

Cerebral vasospasm (cVSP) is a frequent complication of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH), with a significant impact on outcome. Beta blockers (BBs) may blunt the sympathetic effect and catecholamine surge associated with ruptured cerebral aneurysms and prevent cardiac dysfunction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between preadmission BB therapy and cVSP, cardiac dysfunction, and in-hospital mortality following aSAH.

METHODS

This was a retrospective cohort study of patients with aSAH who were treated at a tertiary high-volume neurovascular referral center. The exposure was defined as any preadmission BB therapy. The primary outcome was cVSP assessed by serial transcranial Doppler with any mean flow velocity ≥ 120 cm/sec and/or need for endovascular intervention for medically refractory cVSP. Secondary outcomes were cardiac dysfunction (defined as cardiac troponin-I elevation > 0.05 μg/L, low left ventricular ejection fraction [LVEF] < 40%, or LV wall motion abnormalities [LVWMA]) and in-hospital mortality.

RESULTS

The cohort consisted of 210 patients treated between February 2009 and September 2010 (55% were women), with a mean age of 53.4 ± 13 years and median Hunt and Hess Grade III (interquartile range III–IV). Only 13% (27/210) of patients were exposed to preadmission BB therapy. Compared with these patients, a higher percentage of patients not exposed to preadmission BBs had transcranial Doppler-mean flow velocity ≥ 120 cm/sec (59% vs 22%; p = 0.003). In multivariate analyses, lower Hunt and Hess grade (OR 3.9; p < 0.001) and preadmission BBs (OR 4.5; p = 0.002) were negatively associated with cVSP. In multivariate analysis, LVWMA (OR 2.7; p = 0.002) and low LVEF (OR 1.1; p = 0.05) were independent predictors of in-hospital mortality. Low LVEF (OR 3.9; p = 0.05) independently predicted medically refractory cVSP. The in-hospital mortality rate was higher in patients with LVWMA (47.4% vs 14.8%; p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The study data suggest that preadmission therapy with BBs is associated with lower incidence of cVSP after aSAH. LV dysfunction was associated with higher medically refractory cVSP and in-hospital mortality. BB therapy may be considered after aSAH as a cardioprotective and cVSP preventive therapy.

ABBREVIATIONSaSAH = aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage; AUC = area under the receiver operating characteristic curve; BB = beta blocker; cTi = cardiac troponin-I; cVSP = cerebral vasospasm; DCI = delayed cerebral ischemia; HH = Hunt and Hess; LVEF = left ventricular ejection fraction; LVWMA = LV wall motion abnormalities; mFV = mean flow velocity; NSM = neurogenic stunned myocardium; TCD = transcranial Doppler.

OBJECTIVE

Cerebral vasospasm (cVSP) is a frequent complication of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH), with a significant impact on outcome. Beta blockers (BBs) may blunt the sympathetic effect and catecholamine surge associated with ruptured cerebral aneurysms and prevent cardiac dysfunction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between preadmission BB therapy and cVSP, cardiac dysfunction, and in-hospital mortality following aSAH.

METHODS

This was a retrospective cohort study of patients with aSAH who were treated at a tertiary high-volume neurovascular referral center. The exposure was defined as any preadmission BB therapy. The primary outcome was cVSP assessed by serial transcranial Doppler with any mean flow velocity ≥ 120 cm/sec and/or need for endovascular intervention for medically refractory cVSP. Secondary outcomes were cardiac dysfunction (defined as cardiac troponin-I elevation > 0.05 μg/L, low left ventricular ejection fraction [LVEF] < 40%, or LV wall motion abnormalities [LVWMA]) and in-hospital mortality.

RESULTS

The cohort consisted of 210 patients treated between February 2009 and September 2010 (55% were women), with a mean age of 53.4 ± 13 years and median Hunt and Hess Grade III (interquartile range III–IV). Only 13% (27/210) of patients were exposed to preadmission BB therapy. Compared with these patients, a higher percentage of patients not exposed to preadmission BBs had transcranial Doppler-mean flow velocity ≥ 120 cm/sec (59% vs 22%; p = 0.003). In multivariate analyses, lower Hunt and Hess grade (OR 3.9; p < 0.001) and preadmission BBs (OR 4.5; p = 0.002) were negatively associated with cVSP. In multivariate analysis, LVWMA (OR 2.7; p = 0.002) and low LVEF (OR 1.1; p = 0.05) were independent predictors of in-hospital mortality. Low LVEF (OR 3.9; p = 0.05) independently predicted medically refractory cVSP. The in-hospital mortality rate was higher in patients with LVWMA (47.4% vs 14.8%; p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS

The study data suggest that preadmission therapy with BBs is associated with lower incidence of cVSP after aSAH. LV dysfunction was associated with higher medically refractory cVSP and in-hospital mortality. BB therapy may be considered after aSAH as a cardioprotective and cVSP preventive therapy.

Cerebral vasospasm (cVSP) is a frequent complication of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) and occurs in 30%–70% of these patients, most commonly between index Days 3 and 12. cVSP could lead to either permanent morbidity or death in up to 20% of patients with aSAH.11 Delayed ischemic neurological deficits occur in up to 50% of patients with angiographic cVSP, often causing stroke or death despite maximal therapy.10

Despite several research efforts, cVSP has remained incompletely understood from both the pathogenic and therapeutic perspectives.8 A number of medical therapies have been proposed and evaluated for cVSP both at the basic and translational levels. No single treatment modality has proven efficacious, with often conflicting trial results.1 Currently, the strongest evidence supports the use of prophylactic oral nimodipine for the prevention of delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI). Other therapies, including calcium channel blockers (nicardipine), endothelin receptor antagonists, magnesium, and statins, have failed to prove any efficacy.1,22 Although hyperdynamic therapy has been historically advocated for the management of cVSP,1,22 recent studies have shown that only induced hypertension is associated with improved cerebral blood flow.7,15

The impact of beta-blocker (BB) therapy on the occurrence of cVSP has not been studied. Data concerning the impact of cardiac abnormalities on the occurrence of cVSP have also been limited.19 In fact, cardiac function abnormalities are common following aSAH (in up to 33% of cases) and may influence clinical outcomes and the occurrence of cVSP.20 The purpose of the present study was to assess the impact of preadmission BB therapy and cardiac function abnormalities on the incidence of cVSP and in-hospital mortality following aSAH. We hypothesized that preadmission exposure to BBs would be associated with a lower incidence of cVSP and lower cardiac dysfunction and in-hospital mortality.

Methods

Study Population

Thomas Jefferson University's institutional review board approved the study protocol. Patients treated for aSAH between February 2009 and September 2010 at our hospital were included in the analysis. Exclusion criteria included traumatic or nonaneurysmal SAH and lack of adequate transcranial Doppler (TCD) windows. Per institutional protocol, aSAH was diagnosed based on the results of admission CT or MRI, or the presence of xanthochromia in CSF.

In all patients, an arterial line was placed at the time of admission, outpatient antihypertensive medications were discontinued, and a nicardipine infusion was started to keep the mean arterial pressure < 90 mm Hg preoperatively. Patients with Hunt and Hess (HH) Grades ≥ III received a ventriculostomy for CSF drainage. All patients received nimodipine from index Day 0, and blood transfusions were given to maintain the hemoglobin level at ≥ 10 mg/dl. Routine echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, and cardiac enzymes were generally measured at the time of admission and as necessary during the hospital stay. Cardiac troponin-I (cTi) levels > 0.05 ng/ml were considered abnormal. Digital subtraction angiography was performed in all patients and aneurysms were secured within 24 hours of admission by coil embolization or by surgical clipping.

In the neuro-intensive care unit, TCD ultrasonography of the bilateral middle cerebral arteries, anterior cerebral arteries, and posterior cerebral arteries was performed daily on aSAH index Days 1–14 by experienced technicians. The mean flow velocity (mFV) was measured through a transsphenoidal window with a 2-MHz transducer. Patients were treated prophylactically with induced hypertension when their velocities on TCD became elevated or showed a trend toward elevation, or with increasing Lindegaard ratios. If patients developed a new focal neurological deficit, a CT scan was obtained to eliminate a diagnosis of hydrocephalus or rebleeding. Hyperdynamic therapy was then maximized to the point of elevating the mean arterial pressure by 20%. If patients did not demonstrate neurological reversal within 60 minutes, they were transferred to the endovascular suite for emergency angiography and potential intervention with balloon angioplasty and/or spasmolytic agents.

Data Collection

Electronic medical records were reviewed to determine patients' demographic data, HH and Fisher grades, comorbidities (i.e., hypertension or a history of ischemic heart disease), and preadmission antihypertensive drug therapy, including BBs. The left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and the presence of LV wall motion abnormalities (LVWMA) upon admission were assessed by the admission echocardiograms and interpreted by a board-certified cardiologist. The TCD data of all patients with aSAH were collected prospectively and maintained in a computerized database.

Exposure and Outcome Measures

The exposure was defined as any preadmission BB therapy (metoprolol, atenolol, carvedilol, or others), which was discontinued upon admission to the hospital. The primary outcome cVSP was defined as any serial TCD with mFV ≥ 120 cm/sec. For the analysis, we also used a second a priori definition of mFV ≥ 200 cm/sec. Medically refractory cVSP was defined as TCD-mFV ≥ 120 cm/sec with clinical deterioration not responsive to medical therapy and requiring an endovascular intervention. Secondary outcomes were cardiac dysfunction (defined as cTi >0.05 μg/L, or LVEF < 40%, or LVWMA) and in-hospital mortality.

Statistical Analysis

Data are presented as the mean and range for continuous variables, and as the count and proportion for categorical variables. Differences were assessed by unpaired t-tests, Wilcoxon rank-sum tests, and chi-square or Fisher's exact tests as appropriate, based on their distributions. Bivariate analysis was used to test covariates predictive of the following dependent variables: TCD-mFV ≥ 120 cm/sec in any vessel, TCD-mFV ≥ 200 cm/sec in any vessel, medically refractory cVSP, cardiac dysfunction, and in-hospital mortality. The following variables were tested for their predictive value: age, HH grade, Fisher grade, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, preadmission antihypertensive medication, preadmission BBs, peak cTi value, LVEF, and LVWMA. The Youden index was used to determine the optimal dichotomization level for continuous variables. Interaction and confounding was assessed through stratification and relevant expansion of covariates. Factors predictive in bivariate analysis (p < 0.20)2 were entered into a multivariate logistic regression analysis. A p value of ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Using the C statistic, we calculated the receiver operating characteristic for each of the primary outcomes of interest using our a priori definitions (Fig. 1). Statistical analysis was performed using Stata version 10.0 (StataCorp).

FIG. 1.
FIG. 1.

The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) for TCD-mFV ≥ 120 cm/sec was 0.7312. Figure is available in color online only.

Results

Baseline Characteristics

A total of 210 consecutive patients met the study criteria. The mean age was 53.4 ± 13.3 years (range 17–93 years), 55% were women, 57% (120/210) had hypertension, and 7% (15/210) had a history of ischemic heart disease. Of those with hypertension, 22% (26/120) were in the BB-exposed group versus 78% (94/120) in non–BB-exposed group (p < 0.001). Of those with ischemic heart disease, 53% (8/15) were in the BB-exposed group versus 47% in the non–BB-exposed group (p < 0.001). Seventy-three patients (34.7%) were on preadmission antihypertensive medications, and 13% (27/210) were on BBs. The median HH grade on admission was III (interquartile range III–IV). The HH and Fisher grades are listed in Tables 1 and 2. An echocardiogram was performed in 82% (174/210) of patients; the mean LVEF was 64% ± 12%, and 4% (8/210) of patients had an LVEF < 40%. Nineteen patients (9%) had LVWMA of any type. Ninety-one patients (43%) had a cTi > 0.05 μg/ml during their hospital stay. Among the BB-exposed groups, there were no differences in the proportion of patients with an LVEF < 40%, LVWMA, or cTi > 0.05 mg/ml.

TABLE 1.

HH grades in a cohort of 210 patients with aSAH

HH GradeNo. of Patients (%)
I48 (22.85)
II12 (5.70)
III84 (40.00)
IV48 (22.85)
V18 (8.60)
Total210
TABLE 2.

Fisher grades in a cohort of 210 patients with aSAH

Fisher GradeNo. of Patients (%)
15 (2.4)
228 (13.3)
374 (35.3)
4103 (49.0)
Total210

TCD-Defined cVSP

In the cohort, 54.3% (114/210) of patients had a TCD-mFV ≥ 120 cm/sec (Fig. 1) in any vessel and 17% (35/210) had a TCD-mFV ≥ 200 cm/sec (Fig. 2) in any vessel during their hospital stay. The proportion of patients with any TCD-mFV ≥ 120 cm/sec was lower in patients exposed to prehospital BB therapy (22% [6/27] vs 59% [108/183]; p = 0.003). The factors tested in bivariate and multivariate analysis for association with TCD-mFV ≥ 120 cm/sec are listed in Table 3. In multivariate analysis, preadmission BBs (p = 0.007) were an independent negative predictor of TCD-mFV ≥ 120 cm/sec. Higher HH grades (III–V) predicted TCD-mFV ≥ 120 cm/sec (p < 0.001). The proportion of patients with any TCD-mFV ≥ 200 cm/sec was lower in patients exposed to prehospital BBs (4% [1/27] vs 19% [34/183]; p = 0.04). The factors tested in bivariate and multivariate analysis for association with TCD-mFV ≥ 200 cm/sec are listed in Table 4. In multivariate analysis, there was a strong trend for preadmission BBs (p = 0.07) to negatively predict TCD-mFV ≥ 200 cm/sec.

FIG. 2.
FIG. 2.

The AUC for TCD-mFV ≥ 200 cm/sec was 0.6906. Figure is available in color online only.

TABLE 3.

Univariate and multivariate analyses of predicting factors for TCD-mFV ≥ 120 cm/sec

Variable*Univariate p ValueMultivariate
OR95% CIp Value
Age0.3
HH Grades III–V0.014.22.1–8.5<0.001
Hypertension0.02
Ischemic heart disease0.1
BB therapy0.0030.20.05–0.80.007
Preadmission antihypertensive medication0.02
Positive troponin0.1
LVWMA0.5
LVEF >70%0.1
Fisher Grades 3–40.08

Higher HH grades (p = 0.01), no hypertension (p = 0.02), no ischemic heart disease (p = 0.1), no preadmission BB therapy (p = 0.003), no preadmission antihypertensive medication (p = 0.02), positive troponin (p = 0.1), and LVEF ≤ 70% (p = 0.1) predicted TCD-mFV ≥ 120 cm/sec.

Predictive factors in multivariate analysis.

TABLE 4.

Univariate and multivariate analyses of predicting factors for TCD-mFV ≥ 200 cm/sec

Variable*Univariate p ValueMultivariate
OR95% CIp Value
Age0.3
HH Grades III–V0.12.50.8–70.08
Hypertension0.3
Ischemic heart disease0.7
BB therapy0.040.20.02–1.20.07
Preadmission antihypertensive medication0.4
Positive troponin0.6
LVWMA0.8
LVEF >70%0.090.40.1–1.50.2
Fisher Grades 3–40.3

The following factors were predictive of TCD-mFV ≥ 200 cm/sec in univariate analysis: higher HH Grades (III–V), no preadmission BB therapy, and LVEF ≤ 70%.

Medically Refractory cVSP Requiring Endovascular Therapy

Fourteen patients (6.7%) required an endovascular intervention for medically refractory cVSP (Fig. 3); none of these patients were taking prehospital BBs. The factors tested in bivariate and multivariate analysis for association with medically refractory cVSP are listed in Table 5. In multivariate analysis, an mFV ≥ 120 cm/sec (p < 0.001) and an LVEF < 40% (p = 0.05) were independent predictors of medically refractory cVSP.

FIG. 3.
FIG. 3.

The AUC for medically refractory vasospasm was 0.8113. Figure is available in color online only.

TABLE 5.

Univariate and multivariate analyses of predicting factors for medically refractory cVSP

Variable*Univariate p ValueMultivariate
OR95% CIp Value
Age0.8
HH Grades III–V0.4
Hypertension0.1
Ischemic heart disease0.9
BB therapy0.6
Preadmission antihypertensive medication0.7
Positive troponin0.9
LVWMA0.8
LVEF <40%0.063.91.1–1010.05
Fisher Grades 3–40.3
mFV ≥120 cm/sec<0.0016.82.1–22.2<0.001

The following factors were predictive of medically refractory cVSP in univariate analysis: no hypertension, ejection fraction < 40%, and mFV ≥ 120 cm/sec.

Predictive factors in multivariate analysis.

In-Hospital Mortality

The overall in-hospital mortality rate was 15.2% (32/210 patients). The rate of in-hospital mortality was lower in patients with LVEF > 55% (17% [26/156 patients] vs 33% [6/18 patients]; p = 0.002); in-hospital mortality was lower in patients without LVWMA (15% [23/155 patients] vs 47% [9/19 patients]; p < 0.001). The factors tested in bivariate and multivariate analysis for association with in-hospital mortality are listed in Table 6. In multivariate analysis, mFV ≥ 120 cm/sec (p = 0.003), HH Grades III–V (p < 0.001), LVWMA (p = 0.002), and LVEF < 40% (p = 0.05) were independent predictors of in-hospital mortality.

TABLE 6.

Univariate and multivariate analyses of predicting factors for in-hospital mortality

Variable*Univariate p ValueMultivariate
OR95% CIp Value
Age0.8
HH Grades III–V<0.0014.22.3–7.6<0.001
Hypertension0.1
Ischemic heart disease0.2
BB therapy0.14
Preadmission antihypertensive medication0.8
Positive troponin0.001
LVWMA<0.0012.71.4–5.10.002
LVEF <40%0.0021.10.99–1.20.05
Fisher Grades 3–40.3
mFV ≥120 cm/sec<0.0015.12.0–140.003

The following factors were predictive of in-hospital mortality in univariate analysis: higher HH grades, history of ischemic heart disease, no preadmission BB therapy, positive troponin, lower LVEF, LVMWA, and mFV ≥ 120 cm/sec in any vessel.

Predictive factors in multivariate analysis.

Discussion

The most important findings of this study are as follows: 1) exposure to preadmission BB therapy is associated with a lower incidence of cVSP by TCD in patients with aSAH; 2) LV dysfunction is an independent predictor of medically refractory cVSP requiring endovascular intervention independent of prior BB exposure; and 3) LV dysfunction and LVWMA are strongly associated with in-hospital mortality in patients with aSAH. We did not find an association between preadmission BB therapy and cardiac dysfunction. Although protective cardiac effects from BBs have been suggested by others,6,12,17 our novel observation points to additional beneficial effects of BBs in the setting of aSAH that may extend beyond cardiac protection, as we explain below.

In our study, the incidence of cVSP (by TCD criteria) was reduced by 3-fold and severe cVSP by 6-fold in the BB-exposed group after adjustment for cardiac dysfunction. None of the patients taking BBs developed medically refractory cVSP requiring an endovascular intervention. The mechanisms that may explain this finding are not clearly understood. Primary and secondary cardiac abnormalities are common in patients with aSAH, and the onset of cVSP after aSAH has been associated with cardiac dysfunction.20,21 Although we found a significant proportion of cardiac dysfunction in our cohort (up to 43%), this was not associated with our prespecified end point of cVSP.

In a recent study, Temes et al. examined the incidence of cerebral infarction from cVSP in a population of 119 patients with aSAH.20 The authors found that neurogenic LV dysfunction from aSAH increases the risk of cerebral infarction from cVSP and that this risk increases with the severity of cVSP. Additionally, a higher incidence of hypotension requiring vasopressors and pulmonary edema was noted in patients with LV dysfunction. Interestingly, the authors noted that none of the patients with LV dysfunction were on preadmission antihypertensive medication compared with 35% of those without LV dysfunction, suggesting that antihypertensive medication may confer cardioprotective effects following aSAH.20

In another study, the same group also demonstrated that cTi elevation after aSAH is associated with an increased risk of DCI and death or poor functional outcome at discharge.16 A more recent study by Liang et al.12 found that prehospital BB exposure was associated with lower risk of developing neurogenic stunned myocardium (NSM) in patients with aSAH. The authors examined a group of 130 patients with aSAH, among whom 18 (13.8%) developed NSM, and noted that none of the 22 patients taking prehospital BBs developed NSM.12

It is thought that BBs decrease the risk of developing NSM and cardiac dysfunction by reducing the impact of the catecholamine surge that occurs with aneurysm rupture.17 However, it is unclear how they prevent cVSP, as independently shown by our study. Perhaps the difference between prior studies and our study relates to the methodological definitions for cVSP.12,16,20 We used a TCD definition and not the classic composite end point of DCI. To this end, we might have misclassified patients who developed DCI and who may not have had elevated velocities in serial TCD assessments. Thus, we could have underestimated the true incidence of stroke related to cVSP, which is in fact associated with cardiac dysfunction after aSAH.20

Earlier studies on the molecular mechanisms of cerebral metabolism and autoregulation have demonstrated that cerebral vessels are innervated similarly to other vascular beds.18 Pharmacological studies have determined that catecholamines can stimulate carbohydrate metabolism in the brain as well as in the peripheral tissues; therefore, blocking this action might reduce the overall cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) and glucose (CMRGluc).3,14 An early experiment conducted in 1974 by Meyer et al. demonstrated that systemic administration of the BB propranolol in patients with ischemic stroke resulted in reductions of cerebral oxidative metabolism.14 This effect may be enhanced because endogenous norepinephrine is peripherally released and can cross into brain tissue through the disrupted blood-brain barrier, which may abnormally stimulate cerebral glucose and oxygen metabolism. The study by Meyer et al. also demonstrated that besides CMRO2 reductions, β blockade improved autoregulation capacity of infarcted brain tissue.14 Because cerebral autoregulation is impaired after aSAH and this is a risk factor for cVSP,9 it is possible that 1) coupling of CMRO2 and cerebral blood flow in the setting of metabolic stress and 2) maintenance of cerebral autoregulation are molecular properties of BBs that could potentially explain the association found in our study.

We also found that the odds of developing medically refractory cVSP requiring an endovascular intervention were 4 times higher when the LVEF was < 40%. This finding suggests that the normal hyperdynamic response to aSAH protects against cVSP, and that cardiac dysfunction increases this risk. Also, the finding suggests that patients with cardiac dysfunction are unlikely to respond to or tolerate hyperdynamic therapy. Thus, these patients are more likely to require an endovascular procedure for reversal of medically refractory cVSP. This finding is in agreement with that of Temes et al.;20 however, we suspect that our inability to link cardiac dysfunction with cVSP in our cohort was related to the small number of patients with a recorded LVEF < 40%.

Finally, the results of our study confirm that cardiac dysfunction carries a poor prognostic value, not only in terms of medically refractory cVSP but also in terms of in-hospital mortality. The in-hospital mortality was more than twice as high in the presence of LVWMA or lower LVEF. These findings further highlight the impact of cardiac dysfunction on outcome after aSAH. A screening echocardiogram appears to be necessary in patients with aSAH at the time of admission or in the event of initial cardiac troponin elevation, hypotension, or arrhythmias/electrocardiogram abnormalities.

Limitations of the Study

We acknowledge the limitations of our study. First, our analysis is observational in nature, limiting the inferences that can be made about causal relationships. Second, TCD and echocardiograms were performed for clinical purposes and did not use a standardized research protocol and data collected retrospectively. To this end, our study may have suffered from selection bias. Third, on the basis of clinical indications, echocardiograms were not performed serially or in all patients; thus, our analysis is based on the initial echocardiogram upon admission to the hospital. However, experience suggests that the initial cardiac dysfunction after aSAH is associated with poor outcome and that it improves over time.4,21 Fourth, in accordance with our center's clinical practice, we assessed cVSP mainly on the basis of TCD criteria. Although the sensitivity and predictive value of TCD are not perfect,5 the technique remains a practical and widely used method for screening cVSP after aSAH.13 Fifth, we did not analyze the occurrence of DCI. Instead, we chose to use medically refractory cVSP requiring an endovascular intervention, which may represent a form of DCI. Therefore, our results should be interpreted with this in mind. Finally, because this was a single-center study, whether our results are generalizable to other populations can always be argued as a potential limitation. However, our study provides potentially useful information for future research in the field of aSAH.

Conclusions

The results of this study show that preadmission BB exposure is associated with decreased incidence of cVSP in patients with aSAH. LV dysfunction was also associated with medically refractory cVSP and in-hospital mortality. The findings suggest that BBs may be a promising therapeutic avenue for prevention of cVSP and may need to be continued or started in patients with aSAH. A controlled randomized clinical trial may be necessary to confirm this observation.

Acknowledgments

Dr. Rincon has received salary support from the American Heart Association (AHA 12CRP12050342).

References

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Disclosures

Dr. Tjoumakaris is a consultant for Stryker and Covidien.

Author Contributions

Conception and design: Rincon, Kraft, Okabe, Chalouhi, Jabbour. Acquisition of data: Okabe, Chalouhi, Starke, Bovenzi, Anderson, Barros, Reese. Analysis and interpretation of data: Okabe, Chalouhi, Dalyai. Drafting the article: Chalouhi, Daou, Okabe. Critically revising the article: Rincon, Chalouhi, Daou, Dalyai, Tjoumakaris, Jabbour, Rosenwasser. Reviewed submitted version of manuscript: Rincon, Chalouhi, Daou, Okabe, Starke, Dalyai, Reese, Jabbour. Approved the final version of the manuscript on behalf of all authors: Rincon. Statistical analysis: Starke. Study supervision: Rincon, Kraft, Chalouhi, Rosenwasser, Tjoumakaris.

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Article Information

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online January 22, 2016; DOI: 10.3171/2015.7.JNS15956.

Correspondence Fred Rincon, Department of Neurological Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson College of Medicine, Division of Critical Care and Neurotrauma, 909 Walnut St., 3rd Fl., Philadel-phia, PA 19107. email: fred.rincon@jefferson.edu.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

Headings

Figures

  • View in gallery

    The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) for TCD-mFV ≥ 120 cm/sec was 0.7312. Figure is available in color online only.

  • View in gallery

    The AUC for TCD-mFV ≥ 200 cm/sec was 0.6906. Figure is available in color online only.

  • View in gallery

    The AUC for medically refractory vasospasm was 0.8113. Figure is available in color online only.

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