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01.09.2009 | Experimental Research | Ausgabe 9/2009

Acta Neurochirurgica 9/2009

Digoxin may provide protection against vasospasm in subarachnoid haemorrhage

Zeitschrift:
Acta Neurochirurgica > Ausgabe 9/2009
Autoren:
Murat Vural, T. Erhan Cosan, Zuhtu Ozbek, Didem Cosan, Fezan Sahin, Dilek Burukoglu

Abstract

Background

Vasospasm is a significant reason for poor clinical outcome in subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). One of the possible causes of vasospasm is attributed to the inhibition of Na+/K+-ATPase and increased intracellular calcium. Although digoxin, a cardiac glycoside (CG), inhibits the Na+/K+-ATPase, diverse and contradictory biological actions of CGs have also been reported. This study aimed to investigate the effect of digoxin on an experimental vasospasm after subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) in rats.

Methods

The rats used in the study were divided into normal, saline, SAH, and drug groups. A double-haemorrhage method was applied for the SAH groups. Normal saline or blood samples were injected into the cisterna magna. No surgical procedures were performed on the normal group. For the drug groups, daily digoxin was administered intraperitoneally after saline or blood injections. On days 3 and 7 after injections, the brains and basilar artery sections of all the groups were prepared for light-microscopic examination. The wall thickness and luminal area of the basilar artery were calculated by using medical imaging software.

Results

Increased wall thickness and reduced vessel luminal area were conspicuously significant in the SAH groups which did not receive digoxin. In SAH groups after digoxin administration, the vessel wall thickness decreased, and no significant change was found in vessel wall thickness when compared with the normal and saline groups. The vessel luminal area was not reduced in SAH after digoxin administration.

Conclusions

These results suggest that digoxin administration in experimental SAH may have a beneficial effect on the protection against vasospasm. If further investigations support our results, the present study may offer a new insight into the treatment of SAH.

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