The purpose of this article is to provide a systematic review of the evidence supporting the use of milrinone for the management of delayed cerebral ischemia (DCI) following subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).
Primary outcomes were functional neurological status and the incidence of cerebral infarction. Search strategies adapted to the different databases were developed by a professional librarian. Medline, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library database, Web of Science, SCOPUS, BIOSIS, Global Health, Health Star, Open SIGLE, Google Scholar and the New York Academy of Medicine Gray Literature were searched as well as clinical trials databases and the proceedings of several scientific meetings. Quality of the evidence for these outcomes across studies was adjudicated using the GRADE Working Group criteria.
The search resulted in 284 citations after elimination of duplicates. Of those 9 conference proceedings and 15 studies met inclusion criteria and consisted of case reports, case series and two comparative studies: one non-randomized study with physiological outcomes only and a case series with historical controls. There was considerable variation in dosing and in co-interventions and no case control or randomized controlled studies were found.
There is currently only very low quality evidence to support the use of milrinone to improve important outcomes in patients with delayed cerebral ischemia secondary to subarachnoid hemorrhage. Further research is needed to clarify the value and risks of this medication in patients with SAH.