Induced Hypertension for Delayed Cerebral Ischaemia After Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Haemorrhage:a Feasibility Study

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00841633
Recruitment Status : Terminated (Our RCT recently started. The RCT is similar to the feasibility trial, so it was terminated to avoid 2 trials running simultaniously.)
First Posted : February 11, 2009
Last Update Posted : October 12, 2011
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
A.J.C. Slooter, UMC Utrecht

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to test the feasibility of a trial on induced hypertension to improve neurological outcome in patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage that developed the serious complication "delayed cerebral ischemia", and to assess whether induced hypertension results in improved cerebral blood flow (CBF) as measured by means of perfusion-CT.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Cerebral Ischemia Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Drug: Induced hypertension with norepinephrine Phase 3

Detailed Description:


Delayed cerebral ischaemia (DCI) is a major complication after aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). The proportion of SAH patients who develop DCI is around 30%. Many centres around the world use induced hypertension, alone or in combination with haemodilution and hypervolaemia, so called Triple-H, as standard therapy in the treatment of DCI, but the efficacy of induced hypertension in reducing DCI is based on case series only, and not on a randomised clinical trial.


To test the feasibility of a trial on induced hypertension to improve neurological outcome, and to assess whether induced hypertension results in improved cerebral blood flow (CBF) as measured by means of perfusion-CT.

Study design:

A randomised controlled feasibility trial.

Study population:

Patients admitted to the UMC Utrecht after recent SAH, who develop DCI. Twenty four patients will be randomised into a standard care group or one of the intervention groups.


Patients in the intervention groups are treated with induced hypertension (30 mmHg increase in mean arterial pressure) in order to improve CBF. Patients in the standard care group are treated according to the standardised SAH treatment protocol of the UMC Utrecht by monitoring mean arterial pressure and preventing dropping of mean arterial pressure to under 80 mmHg. 24-36 hours after instalment of the treatment, a perfusion CT scan is performed. In patients that do not show any neurological improvement within 24 hours after starting the hypertensive treatment, the administration of norepinephrine will be tapered. In patients who show improvement, induced hypertension will be continued for a total period of 72 hours, after which norepinephrine will be gradually tapered. Measurement of CBF is performed in all participants with perfusion CT-scanning of the brain at the beginning of the study (as part of regular patient care) and after 24-36 hours after starting .

Main outcome measurement:

The number of patients with the diagnosis of DCI after SAH, in which the intervention (induced hypertension) was adequately performed, included within 18 months after the start of the study.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 15 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Induced Hypertension for Delayed Cerebral Ischaemia After Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Haemorrhage:a Feasibility Study
Study Start Date : February 2009
Primary Completion Date : April 2011
Study Completion Date : April 2011

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Arm Intervention/treatment
No Intervention: 1
No induced hypertension (reference group)
Experimental: 2
Induced hypertension with a MAP of 30 mmHg above the average MAP on the previous day; during 24-36 hours, until a perfusion CT scan has been performed
Drug: Induced hypertension with norepinephrine
Hypertension will be induced with norepinephrine. Administration of norepinephrine results in vasoconstriction, leading to an increase in blood pressure. The normal blood pressure of the patient will be calculated as the average MAP of the day before the start of the study. To achieve the intended hypertension (30 mmHg above the normal MAP for patients allocated to index group 2) in most cases a dose of 100-300 ng/kg/minute must be administered. Norepinephrine will be started on a dose of 100 ng/kg/minute, after which the dosing will be adjusted to achieve the desired blood pressure level. The maximum dose to be used in the study is 1000 ng/kg/minute. Norepinephrine is administered through the central venous catheter.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. The main study parameter will be the number of SAH patients with a diagnosis of DCI who were randomised to one of the intervention groups, in whom the intervention was adequately performed, during the duration of the trial. [ Time Frame: duration of the trial ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Related to the inclusion, to the influence on cerebral haemodynamics, to the neurological condition and to adverse events [ Time Frame: cerebral haemodynamics: 24-36 hours, neurological condition: 6 weeks ]

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Admission to the UMC Utrecht.
  2. Age 18 years or over.
  3. Aneurysmal SAH, demonstrated on CT-angiography or cerebral angiography, with onset less than 72 hours before admission.
  4. A level of consciousness corresponding to a Glasgow Coma Sum Score above 8, as in patients with lower Glasgow Coma Sum Scores, assessment of further deterioration may be less reliable.

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Symptomatic aneurysm not yet treated by coiling or clipping. Co-existing asymptomatic cerebral aneurysms are no reason for exclusion, since previous studies found no increased risk of rupture of such aneurysms during hypertensive and hypervolemic treatment.(26)
  2. Co-existing severe head injury.
  3. A history of a cardiac rhythm disorder, necessitating medical treatment.
  4. A history of a left ventricular pump failure, necessitating medical treatment.
  5. Pregnancy.
  6. Known allergy for CT-contrast agents.
  7. Renal failure, defined as a serum creatinine > 150 µmol/l, because of the risk of contrast nephropathy.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00841633

UMC Utrecht
Utrecht, Netherlands, 3508GA
Sponsors and Collaborators
UMC Utrecht
Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research

Responsible Party: A.J.C. Slooter, dr. A.J.C. Slooter, UMC Utrecht Identifier: NCT00841633     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 08-137
First Posted: February 11, 2009    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: October 12, 2011
Last Verified: October 2011

Keywords provided by A.J.C. Slooter, UMC Utrecht:
subarachnoid hemorrhage
induced hypertension
delayed cerebral ischemia

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
Brain Ischemia
Cerebral Infarction
Vascular Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases
Pathologic Processes
Intracranial Hemorrhages
Cerebrovascular Disorders
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Brain Infarction
Adrenergic alpha-Agonists
Adrenergic Agonists
Adrenergic Agents
Neurotransmitter Agents
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Autonomic Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents
Vasoconstrictor Agents