gms | German Medical Science

57th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery
Joint Meeting with the Japanese Neurosurgical Society

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

11 - 14 May, Essen

Simultaneous head rotation and lumboventricular lavage in patients after severe subarachnoid hemorrhage: An initial analysis of the influence on clot clearance rate and cerebral vasospasm

Passive Kopfrotation und lumboventrikuläre Spülung nach schwerer Subarachnoidalblutung: Eine erste Analyse der subarachnoidalen Blutauswaschrate und des zerebralen Vasospasmus

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author D. Hänggi - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf
  • J. Liersch - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf
  • G. Wöbker - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf
  • H.-J. Steiger - Neurochirurgische Klinik, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Japanische Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 57. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e.V. (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Essen, 11.-14.05.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocP 09.130

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: May 8, 2006

© 2006 Hänggi et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: Some recent publications from Japan suggested that head shaking might attenuate cerebral vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) due to facilitated wash-out. It can also be assumed that the accepted beneficial effect of cisternal infusion of spasmolytics is partially related to the accompanying enhanced clot clearance. The current clinical phase 1 study was initiated in order to investigate clot clearance rates and the development of cerebral vasospasm.

Methods: Ten patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage WFNS grade 2 to 5 (GCS 13-3) and Fisher grade 3 or 4 were included in this prospective phase I trial approved by the local ethical committee between May and October 2005. After standard procedure, 2 lumbar intrathecal catheters were inserted. Through one of the lumbar catheters continuous lumboventricular irrigation with 500ml Ringer solution per day was instituted for five days. Intrathecal pressure was monitored by the second lumbar catheter. During the perfusion period the patients were also treated in a rotational kinetic system (KCITM). The patients were monitored by daily CT scans with determination of clot clearance rate. Vasospasm was identified by clinical evaluation, routine TCD, and DSA if indicated. The data were compared with a matched control group of 10 patients and analyzed statistically.

Results: Lumboventricular lavage and the rotational kinetic system worked without any complications. The clot clearance rate was defined as the course of hemorrhage volume in ccm3 as measured on CT scans from day 1 through day 5-8. Using the Wilcoxon rank sum test, the study group had a significantly faster clot clearance (p=0.033) than the control group. The pooled TCD monitoring data of anterior and middle cerebral and internal carotid artery over a period of 14 days showed lower mean flow velocities in the study group compared to the control group. The difference was statistically significant (p=0.011). Delayed ischemic neurological deficits with evident vasospasm on angiogram and TCD occurred in one patient of the study group compared to two patients of the control group (n.s.).

Conclusions: This first analysis of a treatment protocol combining moderate head rotation and lumboventricular lavage in patients after severe aneurysmal SAH supports the principal feasibility of the concept and suggests that clot clearance can be accelerated. A larger number of patients are necessary in order to define the beneficial effect with regard to vasospasm and long-term outcome.