Cerebral vasospasm is a common complication of subarachnoid hemorrhage. Nimodipine is the most frequently used drug for cerebral vasospasm management and is the only approved medication that has been demonstrated to reduce ischemic complications, infarct size and improve neurological outcome after aneurismal subarachnoid hemorrhage. The main purpose of this systematic review was to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the main cerebral and extracerebral side effects of continuous intra-arterial infusion of nimodipine in management of delayed cerebral ischemia in subarachnoid hemorrhage patients.
A protocol with the inclusion and exclusion criteria for matched cases and the method of analysis were established and agreed by all authors. We defined the scope of this review to include articles (prospective and retrospective) reporting the side effects of continuous intra-arterial infusion of nimodipine in human subjects. PRISMA guidelines were used to conduct this systematic review.
A total of 8 articles reporting 136 patients were included in the review and analyzed. The side effects associated with continuous intra-arterial infusion of nimodipine were arterial hypotention, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, atrial fibrillation or flutter, infections, acute kidney injury, hepatic and gastro-intestinal side effects.
The most frequent side effects reported in the articles included in this systematic review associated with the continuous intra-arterial infusion of nimodipine were arterial hypotension and heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. Intracerebral hemorrhage, the elevation of ICP, heart rhythm disorders, infectious complications, and thrombosis of the catheter might be also associated with CIAN. Future prospective studies are warranted to establish the risks and incidence of procedure-related side effects.

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