Magnesium and Risk of Bleeding Complications From Ventriculostomy Insertion

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4 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: Hemorrhages are a serious complication of brain surgery, and magnesium has shown hemostatic properties in hemorrhagic stroke and non-neurological surgeries. External ventricular drain (EVD) insertion is an advantageous model of emergency neurosurgical hemorrhage risk because it is common, standardized, and the operator is blinded to the outcome during the procedure. We tested the hypothesis that low magnesium is associated with risk of hemorrhagic complications from EVD insertion. Methods: Patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage and aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage were enrolled in a prospective, observational study. Demographic and clinical variables were prospectively recorded, including serum magnesium measurements. Catheter tract hemorrhage (CTH) was measured on postoperative head computed tomography within 48 hours of EVD insertion. Results: We observed 50 CTH among 327 EVD procedures (15.3%) distributed similarly among intracerebral hemorrhage (21/116 [18.1%]) and subarachnoid hemorrhage (29/211 [13.7%]). Magnesium was lower in patients with CTH compared with those without (median 1.8 versus 2.0 mg/dL, P<0.0001). Higher magnesium was associated with lower odds of CTH (odds ratio 0.67 per 0.1 mg/dL magnesium [95% CI, 0.56-0.78], P<0.0001) after adjustment for other risk factors, with similar effect in the intracerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage subgroups. Preprocedural increase in magnesium (odds ratio 0.68 [0.52-0.85]) and dose of preprocedural magnesium sulfate (odds ratio 0.67 [0.40-0.97]) were associated with reduced CTH risk after adjustment for initial magnesium and other risk factors. Conclusions: Lower magnesium at the time of EVD insertion was an independent predictor of hemorrhagic complications. Baseline risk was attenuated by preprocedural increases in magnesium, suggesting a therapeutic opportunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2795-2800
Number of pages6
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • cerebral hemorrhage
  • magnesium
  • subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • tomography
  • ventriculostomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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