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Spironolactone in preventing hypokalemia following traumatic brain injury.

Author(s): Abrishamkar S, Shafiei M, Shafiei M

Affiliation(s): Department of Neurosurgery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran. abrishamkar@med.mui.ac.ir

Publication date & source: 2010-12, Chin J Traumatol., 13(6):336-40.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

OBJECTIVE: Hypokalemia is a frequent complication observed after traumatic brain injury (TBI). We evaluated the effect of spironolactone on preventing hypokalemia following moderate to severe TBI. METHODS: Patients with moderate to severe TBI, whose Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores of 9-12 and less than 9, respectively, were equally randomized into intervention and control groups, matching with severity of trauma and baseline serum level of potassium. For the intervention group, we administrated spironolactone (1 mg/kg per day) on the second day of admission or the first day of gavage tolerance and continued it for seven days. No additional intervention was done for controls. Hypokalemia (mild: 3-3.5 mg/L, moderate: 2.5-3 mg/L, and severe: less than 2.5 mg/L serum K+) and other electrolyte abnormalities were compared between the two groups at the end of the intervention. RESULTS: Sixty-eight patients (58 males and 10 females) were included with mean age equal to (33.1+/-11.8) years, and GCS equal to 7.6+/-2.8. The two groups were similar in baseline characteristics. Patients who received spironolactone were significantly less likely to experience mild, moderate, or severe hypokalemia (8.8%, 2.9%, and 0) compared with controls (29.4%, 11.7%, and 2.9%, respectively, P less than 0.05). No significant difference was observed between the two groups in the occurrence of other electrolyte abnormalities, hyperglycemia or oliguria. CONCLUSION: Spironolactone within the first week of head injury could prevent the occurrence of late hypokalemia with no severe side effects.

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