Purpose: To explore the long-term effects of the calcium antagonist, nicardipine, on cerebral hemodynamics in patients with acute cerebral hemorrhage, we investigated the effects of nicardipine infusion on intracranial pressure (ICP), middle cerebral arterial blood flow velocity (Vmca), and computed tomographical (CT) findings of bleeding and edema. Methods: Twenty-two patients with acute cerebral hemorrhage were infused with nicardipine for > 72 hr to decrease blood pressure. Blood pressure, heart rate, conscious level, Vmca, pulsatility index (PI, using transcranial Doppler), ICP, cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP) and platelet counts were monitored. CT examination was also performed to detect the changes of bleeding (hematoma) and/or brain edema. Results: Blood pressure decreased (20 to 30% from control, P < 0.05) without any changes in heart rate. Platelet count did not change neither did Vmca and PI change on either the intact or injured side. The ICP decreased 24 hr after the end of infusion from 30 ± 12 mmHg to 20 ± 9 mmHg (P = 0.036) but was still higher than normal. The CPP decreased at 24 hr (75 ± 14 mmHg, P = 0.026) and 72 hr (73 ± 15 mmHg, P = 0.024) from the baseline (99 ± 17 mmHg). Conscious level improved but not significantly and CT findings did not show any exacerbation in bleeding or edema. Conclusion: In patients with acute cerebral hemorrhage, nicardipine infusion to decrease blood pressure by 20 to 30% had no effect on Vmca, ICP, cerebral bleeding and edema, but decreased CPP.
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