Abstract: Inflammatory response with cytokine release is
reported to correlate with clinical outcome after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).
In selected cases, hypothermia and barbiturate coma are applied as means for neuroprotection after severe SAH. Hypothermia and high-dose barbiturate are reported to attenuate the inflammatory response.
In this pilot study, we assessed the effect of the combined
therapy on the inflammatory response. In 15 patients with SAH, daily cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma samples were collected. Interleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), IL-1b, systemic leukocyte, and leukocyte counts in the CSF were quantified.
Group 1 represented 7 cases treated with combined therapeutic hypothermia (331C) and barbiturate coma.
Group 2 represented 8 cases without combined therapy.
Compared with the systemic levels, all cases showed higher
cytokine levels in the CSF. Mean IL-6 level in the CSF was
significantly lower in group 1 (P<0.001). The ratio between
IL-6 levels in the CSF and plasma, as a parameter for intrathecal synthesis, was significantly lower in group 1 (P=0.014). Mean CSF and systemic levels of TNF-a of group 1 were significantly higher compared with group 2 (P=0.009 and P<0.001). The mean systemic IL-1b level was significantly lower in group 1 (P<0.001), as well as the leukocyte counts, both, systemic and in the CSF (P<0.001 and P=0.032). The present data show a most pronounced decrease of IL-6 levels in the CSF, beside decrease in systemic IL-1b levels, systemic leukocyte counts, and
CSF leukocyte counts in group 1, which would be expected to
reflect an attenuation of inflammatory response. The impact and role of TNF-a remains unclear.
Key Words: subarachnoid hemorrhage, inflammation, hypothermia, cytokine, IL-6