Fluctuations in patient serum sodium levels are common after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH), but their effect on patient outcome is not well described in the literature. The goal of this work was to better characterize the relationship between fluctuations in serum sodium levels, outcome, and the development of delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) after aSAH.
The authors performed a post hoc analysis of data from the Clazosentan to Overcome Neurological Ischemia and Infarction Occurring After Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (CONSCIOUS-1) trial. Patients had their serum sodium values recorded daily for 14 days post-aSAH. Average and average absolute daily differences in sodium levels were calculated for each patient based on 3 reference points: admission sodium levels, a normal sodium level (defined as 140 mmol/L), and the previous day’s sodium level. These variables were also calculated for the classic “vasospasm window” (days 3–12) post-aSAH. A stepwise logistic regression model, locally weighted scatterplot smoothing curves, and receiver operator characteristic curve analysis were used to evaluate the relationship between alterations in serum sodium levels and clinical outcome or the development of DCI after aSAH. Poor outcome was defined as a modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score of > 2 at 3 months.
The average daily difference in sodium values from baseline (p < 0.001), average daily difference from a normal sodium level (p < 0.001), average absolute daily difference from a normal sodium level (p = 0.015), and average absolute daily difference from the previous day’s sodium level (p = 0.017) were significant predictors of poor outcome in a stepwise multivariate regression model. There was a trend toward significance for average absolute daily difference from admission sodium levels during the vasospasm window as an independent predictor of DCI (p = 0.052). There was no difference in the predictive capacity for DCI when sodium fluctuations from post-aSAH days 1–14 were compared with those from the classic vasospasm window (days 3–12).
Fluctuations in serum sodium levels may play a role in clinical outcome and the development of DCI after aSAH. The timing of these fluctuations appears to have no significant effect on the development of DCI.