Delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) affects 30% of patients following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) and is a major driver of morbidity, mortality, and intensive care unit length of stay for these patients. DCI is strongly associated with cerebral arterial vasospasm, reduced cerebral blood flow and cerebral infarction. The current standard treatment with intravenous or intra-arterial calcium channel antagonist and balloon angioplasty or stent has limited efficacy. A simple treatment such as a cervical sympathetic block (CSB) may be an effective therapy but is not routinely performed to treat vasospasm/DCI. CSB consists of injecting local anesthetic at the level of the cervical sympathetic trunk, which temporarily blocks the innervation of the cerebral arteries to cause arterial vasodilatation. CSB is a local, minimally invasive, low cost and safe technique that can be performed at the bedside and may offer significant advantages as complementary treatment in combination with more conventional neurointerventional surgery interventions. We reviewed the literature that describes CSB for vasospasm/DCI prevention or treatment in humans after aSAH. The studies outlined in this review show promising results for a CSB as a treatment for vasospasm/DCI. Further research is required to standardize the technique, to explore how to integrate a CSB with conventional neurointerventional surgery treatments of vasospasm and DCI, and to study its long-term effect on neurological outcomes.
View details for DOI 10.1136/jnis-2022-019838
View details for PubMedID 36597947