Objective: Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) is a devastating cerebrovascular event with long-term morbidity and mortality. Patients who survive the initial bleeding are likely to suffer further early brain injury arising from a plethora of pathological processes. These may result in a worsening of outcome or death in approximately 25% of patients and may contribute to longer-term cognitive dysfunction in survivors. Inflammation, mediated by the cytokine interleukin-1 (IL-1), is an important contributor to cerebral ischemia after diverse forms of brain injury, including aSAH. Its effects are attenuated by its naturally occurring antagonist, IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra [anakinra]). The authors hypothesized that administration of additional subcutaneous IL-1Ra would reduce inflammation and associated plasma markers associated with poor outcome following aSAH.
Methods: This was a randomized, open-label, single-blinded study of 100 mg subcutaneous IL-1Ra, administered twice daily in patients with aSAH, starting within 3 days of ictus and continuing until 21 days postictus or discharge from the neurosurgical center, whichever was earlier. Blood samples were taken at admission (baseline) and at Days 3-8, 14, and 21 postictus for measurement of inflammatory markers. The primary outcome was difference in plasma IL-6 measured as area under the curve between Days 3 and 8, corrected for baseline value. Secondary outcome measures included similar area under the curve analyses for other inflammatory markers, plasma pharmacokinetics for IL-1Ra, and clinical outcome at 6 months.
Results: Interleukin-1Ra significantly reduced levels of IL-6 and C-reactive protein (p < 0.001). Fibrinogen levels were also reduced in the active arm of the study (p < 0.002). Subcutaneous IL-1Ra was safe, well tolerated, and had a predictable plasma pharmacokinetic profile. Although the study was not powered to investigate clinical effect, scores of the Glasgow Outcome Scale-extended at 6 months were better in the active group; however, this outcome did not reach statistical significance.
Conclusions: Subcutaneous IL-1Ra is safe and well tolerated in aSAH. It is effective in reducing peripheral inflammation. These data support a Phase III study investigating the effect of IL-1Ra on outcome following aSAH.
Clinical trial registration no.: EudraCT: 2011-001855-35 ( www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu ).
- Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage
- C-reactive protein
- Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist
- Phase II trial
- Vascular disorders