Acta neurologica Scandinavica

Does eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) inhibit cerebral vasospasm in patients after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage?

PMID 18261166


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. 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. 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). These findings suggest EPA inhibits symptomatic cerebral vasospasm and cerebral infarction after SAH and also improves clinical prognosis.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

E0085000 Eicosapentaenoic acid ethyl ester, European Pharmacopoeia (EP) Reference Standard