Metabolic and Endocrine Response in the Acute Stage of Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Abstract: The rupture of an aneurysm in subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a dramatic event causing a severe impact on the brain and a transient or permanent ischemic condition. Several types of responses to meet the challenges of SAH have been found in the acute phase, including activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system, elevated levels of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), and disturbances in cerebral and systemic metabolism.Cerebral metabolism and the endocrine stress response in the ultra-early phase was investigated in a novel porcine model of SAH in which autologous blood was injected to the anterior skull base. Early activation of the HPA axis was found with rapid elevation of adrenocorticotrophic hormone, cortisol and aldosterone. The peak values of these hormones were early and may be impossible to catch in patients. There were indications of a sympathetic nervous response with excretion of catecholamines in urine as well as plasma chromogranin-A elevation. Cerebral microdialysis suggested immediate substrate failure followed by hypermetabolism of glucose. The animal model seems suited for further studies of aneurysmal SAH.NT-proBNP was investigated in 156 patients with SAH, there was a dynamic course with increasing levels during the first 4 days of the disease. Factors predicting high NT-proBNP load included female sex, high age, high Troponin-I at admission, angiographic finding of an aneurysm and worse clinical condition at admission. High levels of NT-proBNP were correlated to factors indicating a more severe disease, suggesting the initial injury in aneurysmal SAH is an important factor in predicting high NT-proBNP during the acute stage of the disease.Measurements with indirect calorimetry were performed daily during the first week after SAH on 32 patients with SAH. There was a dynamic course with increasing energy expenditure (EE) the first week after SAH. Comparisons with three predictive equations indicated that measured EE generally is higher than predicted, but considerable variation exists within and between patients, indicating that prediction of EE in SAH is difficult.Altogether, the studies demonstrate a complicated response in acute SAH that needs to be further studied to increase possibility of good outcome in SAH patients.