Cerebral vasospasm is an alarming complication of acute bacterial meningitis with potentially devastating consequences. It is essential for providers to recognize and treat it appropriately. Unfortunately, there is no well-established approach to the management of postinfectious vasospasm, which makes it especially challenging to treat these patients. More research is needed to address this gap in care.
Here, the authors describe a patient with postmeningitis vasospasm that was refractory to induced hypertension, steroids, and verapamil. He eventually responded to a combination of intravenous (IV) and intra-arterial (IA) milrinone followed by angioplasty.
To our knowledge, this is the first report of successfully using milrinone as vasodilator therapy in a patient with postbacterial meningitis-associated vasospasm. This case supports the use of this intervention. In future cases of vasospasm after bacterial meningitis, IV and IA milrinone should be trialed earlier with consideration of angioplasty.