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Use of nimodipine for cerebral injury prophylaxis in surgical myocardial revascularization with extracorporeal circulation in elderly patients

Ricardo ManriqueI; Ricardo PavanelloI; Hélio M. de MagalhãesI

DOI: 10.1590/S0102-76381996000400005


Around 5 percent of the patients submitted to heart surgery with extracorporeal circulation present neurological problems. In relation to neuropsicological functions the alteration rate achieve 50 to 70%. An independent variable to stroke is age, the frequency in patients older then 75 years is close to 9%. Taking in account that rate of the elderly population grows very fast and that the coronary patient are frequently older than 65 years, we found very important to search for prophylactic ways to reduce this incidence. New drugs promise to achieve the goal of a prophylaxis of the cerebral injury induced by extracorporeal circulation and nimodipine, a neurovascular specific calcium channel blocker, seems to be a great promise for the prevention of cerebral damage. This is a pilot, double blind, randomized and controlling study with 64 patients, 30 in the nimodipine group and 34 in the placebo branch. Demographics and preoperative data were similar, without any significative difference but the incidence of previous transitory ischaemic attack. The nimodipine group shows a reduction in the number of neurological events in comparation with the placebo group, although a most complicated surgical procedure and inter and post-operative evolution. In the nimodipine group 3 patients presented mental confusion but in the placebo branch we found also 3 cases of mental confusion plus 2 cases of drowsy and one ischaemic stroke with sequels. In summary in the nimodipine group were 3 cases in 30 patients (10%) against 6 in 34 patients (17.64%) in one placebo group. It means a neurological events reduction of 76.4%. Legault reported high mortality in patients using nimodipine in cardiac valve replacement surgery, mainly related to bleeding. We don't found such correlation. The hospital - mortality was similiar in both groups (1 patient in each group) and non statistically significant difference in bleeding (1 severe case in the nimodipine group). In the follow up till 41 months there was a higher mortality in the placebo (4 patients) than in the nimodipine group (1 case).


Aproximadamente 5% dos pacientes submetidos a cirurgia cardíaca com auxílio da circulação extracorpórea apresentaram problemas neurológicos. Avaliando funções neuropsíquicas, as alterações atingem de 50% a 70% dos casos. Os idosos são mais vulneráveis; nestes, a freqüência de acidente vascular cerebral (AVC) aproxima-se dos 9%. Considerando que a população envelhece a um ritmo acelerado e que 0 coronariopata freqüentemente passa dos 65 anos de idade, é fundamental pesquisar meios profiláticos para diminuir esta incidência. Este é um estudo piloto, duplo cego, randomizado e controlado com 64 pacientes, 30 no Grupo nimodipina e 34 no Grupo placebo. As variáveis demográficas e diagnosticas pré-operatórias foram homogêneas, com exceção da incidência de isquemia cerebral transitória. O Grupo nimodipina, mesmo com programação cirúrgica e evolução intra e pós-operatória mais complicadas, apresentou menor número de casos neurológicos. No Grupo nimodipina foram constatados 3 casos de confusão mental e, no Grupo placebo, além de 3 casos de confusão mental, foram diagnosticados mais 2 casos de sonolência e 1 AVC isquêmico com seqüela. No total, foram 3 (10%) casos em 30 pacientes no Grupo nimodipina, e 6 (17,64%) em 34 pacientes no Grupo placebo, caracterizando uma redução de 76,4%. LEGAULT et al. (15) relatam uma elevada mortalidade de pacientes em uso de nimodipina, quando operados para troca valvar, causada, principalmente, por hemorragia. Nós não encontramos esta correlação. A mortalidade hospitalar é similar em ambos os grupos (1 paciente em cada) e o sangramento não é estatisticamente diferente (1 caso de hemorragia importante no Grupo nimodipina). No seguimento até 41 meses, a mortalidade no Grupo placebo foi maior (4 pacientes) que no Grupo nimodipina (1 paciente).
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Article receive on Saturday, November 30, 1996

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