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Hypertonic Saline Found Effective for Brain Injuries

Small study shows decrease in intracranial pressure, increase in cerebral perfusion pressure

FRIDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with traumatic brain injury, a single osmotic agent -- hypertonic saline -- consistently decreases intracranial pressure while improving cerebral perfusion pressure and brain tissue oxygen, according to research presented this week at the annual conference of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in San Francisco.

Archie Defillo, M.D., of the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of 19 traumatic brain injury patients who received 40 doses of hypertonic saline.

The researchers found that the mean pretreatment intracranial pressure was 25 mmHg, which decreased to 12 mmHg after hypertonic saline. They also found that the mean pretreatment cerebral perfusion pressure was 67 mmHg, which increased to 84 mmHg, and that mean pretreatment brain tissue oxygen was 24 mmHg, which increased to 36 mmHg. They identified no treatment complications.

"Studying a larger patient pool would provide an even better assessment of the effectiveness of hypertonic saline as a treatment option for traumatic brain injury," Defillo said in a statement.

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