EPA inhibits cerebral vasospasm in patients who have suffered a cerebral aneurysm. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Does eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) inhibit cerebral vasospasm in patients after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage?
Acta Neurol Scand. 2008 Jul;118(1):54-9. PMID: 18261166
BACKGROUND: Cerebral vasospasm following subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality and recent studies indicate that Rho-kinase plays an important role in the occurrence of such cerebral vasospasm. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, inhibits sphingosylphosphorylcholine (SPC)-induced Rho-kinase activation in vitro, so this study examined whether EPA prevented cerebral vasospasm occurrence after SAH in patients. METHODS: The trial population was 101 patients with SAH subjected to craniotomy and clip application. EPA was orally administered at a daily dose of 1800 mg EPA from day 4 to day 14 to 73 patients; the other 28 constituted the control group, receiving no EPA. RESULTS: EPA significantly curtailed both the occurrence of symptomatic vasospasm (14% EPA group, 36% control, P = 0.019) and of cerebral infarction because of cerebral vasospasm (4% EPA group, 29% control, P = 0.001). Moreover, the percentage of patients with a clinically good outcome was significantly higher in the EPA group (85%, P = 0.022) than in control (64%); there were no deaths in the EPA group but three (11%) in control (P = 0.020). CONCLUSION: These findings suggest EPA inhibits symptomatic cerebral vasospasm and cerebral infarction after SAH and also improves clinical prognosis.