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Martin Mortazavi, Aman Deep, R. Shane Tubbs and Wink S. Fisher III

Manuscript submitted May 23, 2011. Accepted September 25, 2011. Kenneth Grant Jamieson is celebrated as one of Australia's top neurosurgeons. His most notable contributions to neurosurgery included novel treatments of aneurysms and pineal tumors and studies of head injury. Jamieson was also an innovator for the development of new neurosurgical instruments and renowned for his teaching abilities, prolificacy, and mentorship. This preeminent neurosurgeon's life was cut short at the age of 51. Our current understanding and knowledge of treatments of various neurosurgical diseases is based on pioneers such as Kenneth Grant Jamieson.

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Martin M. Mortazavi, Andrew K. Romeo, Aman Deep, Christoph J. Griessenauer, Mohammadali M. Shoja, R. Shane Tubbs and Winfield Fisher


Currently, mannitol is the recommended first choice for a hyperosmolar agent for use in patients with elevated intracranial pressure (ICP). Some authors have argued that hypertonic saline (HTS) might be a more effective agent; however, there is no consensus as to appropriate indications for use, the best concentration, and the best method of delivery. To answer these questions better, the authors performed a review of the literature regarding the use of HTS for ICP reduction.


A PubMed search was performed to locate all papers pertaining to HTS use. This search was then narrowed to locate only those clinical studies relating to the use of HTS for ICP reduction.


A total of 36 articles were selected for review. Ten were prospective randomized controlled trials (RCTs), 1 was prospective and nonrandomized, 15 were prospective observational trials, and 10 were retrospective trials. The authors did not distinguish between retrospective observational studies and retrospective comparison trials. Prospective studies were considered observational if the effects of a treatment were evaluated over time but not compared with another treatment.


The available data are limited by low patient numbers, limited RCTs, and inconsistent methods between studies. However, a greater part of the data suggest that HTS given as either a bolus or continuous infusion can be more effective than mannitol in reducing episodes of elevated ICP. A meta-analysis of 8 prospective RCTs showed a higher rate of treatment failure or insufficiency with mannitol or normal saline versus HTS.

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John L. D. Atkinson

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Oral Presentations

2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010