Objectives: The characteristics of serum catecholamine concentration at the hyper-acute phase of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and its relationship between patient outcome and delayed vasospasm were investigated.
Methods: Patients with aneurysmal SAH (170) were prospectively studied between August 2008 and June 2011. Baseline demographic data and physiological parameters, including plasma concentrations of adrenaline (AD), noradrenaline (NA) and dopamine (DP) were evaluated for all patients.
Results: On admission, plasma AD, NA and DP levels were significantly higher in patients with a poor clinical grade on admission (Hunt & Kosnik: IV-V), compared to those with a good clinical grade on admission (Hunt & Kosnik: I-III). AD showed a markedly high concentration immediately after the onset of SAH and then rapidly decreased. NA levels peaked within 6 hours after onset, then significantly decreased. The increase of DP with time was not significant, but showed a similar trend to that of NA. The level of each catecholamine showed significant mutual correlation. Multivariate analyses demonstrated age, poor clinical grade, plasma AD and NA levels were predictors of poor patient outcome, and.poor clinical grade, Fisher scale and plasma AD level were predictors of the development of delayed vasospasm.
Conclusions: The present findings suggest that sympathetic activation in patients in the acute phase of SAH reflects the severity of SAH, and is closely related to the development of delayed vasospasm, leading to the subsequent immune response and inflammatory reactions. Strategies for suppressing catecholamine at the hyperacute phase may contribute to vasospasm prevention and improve patient outcome.