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Thread: Higher Dose of Head-Trauma Drug May Save Lives

  1. #1
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    Higher Dose of Head-Trauma Drug May Save Lives

    Higher Dose of Head-Trauma Drug May Save Lives
    Fri Sep 6, 2:04 PM ET

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Upping the dose of a drug that helps alleviate fluid build-up in the brains of patients with severe, life-threatening head trauma may double their chances of survival, according to the results of a study from Brazil.



    In the investigation, the researchers compared the effects of conventional doses of the drug mannitol in 69 patients versus a higher dose of the drug in 72 patients. All of the men and women in the study were in a coma and had abnormally widened pupils, indicating a high risk of death, the authors report in the September issue of the journal Neurosurgery.

    Mannitol is commonly given to head injury patients to reduce brain swelling and pressure within the skull, which helps keep brain damage to a minimum.

    Among patients given the higher dose of mannitol--double the conventional dose--pressure within the skull returned to normal 3 days earlier, on average, than among those who received the smaller dose. The abnormally widened pupils also returned to normal more quickly in patients given more mannitol.

    But pupil response to mannitol was worse in patients whose pupils already showed abnormal widening at the scene of the accident, versus those whose pupils did not expand until they reached the hospital.

    The findings suggest that giving brain-injured patients mannitol before they reach the hospital "should be considered," according to Dr. Julio Cruz of the Federal University of Sao Paolo in Brazil and colleagues.

    Six months after the injury, 19% of the patients given the higher dose of mannitol had died, versus 36% of those who received the conventional dose, the report indicates.

    "It will be interesting to see whether other investigators can replicate these findings," Alex B. Valadka of Houston, Texas, writes in an accompanying editorial. "If so, one important lesson to take from this article is that it may be wise to optimize the use of conventional, old-fashioned, tried-and-true therapies before abandoning them for new, unproved, or experimental treatments."

    SOURCE: Neurosurgery 2002;51:628-638.

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  2. #2
    Interesting. I wonder if Mannitol is related to D-Mannose?

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