The aim of this pilot study was to compare the effects of equimolar doses of hypertonic saline and dextran solution (HSD, Rescueflow) with 20% mannitol solution for reduction of increased intracranial pressure.
Prospective, randomized, controlled, crossover trial in the intensive care unit of a large teaching hospital.
Academic hospital and tertiary referral center for neuroscience.
Nine patients with an intracranial pressure of >20 mm Hg were recruited and received two treatments of each, HSD and 20% mannitol, in a randomized order.
Equimolar, rapid intravenous infusions of either 200 mL of 20% mannitol or 100 mL of 7.5% saline and 6% dextran-70 solution (HSD) over 5 mins.
Intracranial pressure, blood pressure, serum and urine sodium and osmolality, and urine output.
Treatments reduced intracranial pressure with both mannitol (median decrease, 7.5 mm Hg, 95% confidence interval, 5.8–11.8) and HSD (median decrease, 13 mm Hg; 95% confidence interval, 11.5–17.3). HSD caused a significantly greater decrease in intracranial pressure than mannitol (p = .044). HSD had a longer duration of effect than mannitol (p = .044).
When given in an equimolar, rapid, intravenous infusion, HSD reduces intracranial pressure more effectively than mannitol.