Dosing and safety of cyclosporine in patients with severe brain injury: Clinical article

Jimmi Hatton, Bonnie Rosbolt, Philip Empey, Richard Kryscio, Byron Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


Object. Cyclosporine neuroprotection has been reported in brain injury models but safety and dosing guidelines have not been determined in humans with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). The purpose of this investigation was to establish the safety of cyclosporine using 4 clinically relevant dosing schemes. Methods. The authors performed a prospective, blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized, dose-escalation trial of cyclosporine administration initiated within 8 hours of TBI (Glasgow Coma Scale score range 4-8; motor score range 2-5). Four dosing cohorts (8 patients treated with cyclosporine and 2 receiving placebo treatment per cohort) received cyclosporine (1.25-5 mg/kg/day) or placebo in 2 divided doses (Cohorts I-III) or continuous infusion (Cohort IV) over 72 hours. Adverse events and outcome were monitored for 6 months. Results. Forty patients were enrolled over 3 years (cyclosporine cohorts, 24 male and 8 female patients; placebo group, 8 male patients). Systemic trough concentrations were below 250 ng/ml during intermittent doses. Higher blood concentrations were observed in Cohorts III and IV. There was no significant difference in immunological ef fects, adverse events, infection, renal dysfunction, or seizures. Mortality rate was not affected by cyclosporine ad ministration, independent of dose, compared with placebo (6 of 32 patients receiving cyclosporine and 2 of 8 receiving placebo died, p > 0.05). At 6 months, a dose-related improvement in favorable outcome was observed in cyclosporine-treated patients (p < 0.05). Conclusions. In patients with acute TBI who received cyclosporine at doses up to 5 mg/kg/day, administered intravenously, with treatment initiated within 8 hours of injury, the rate of mortality or other adverse events was not significantly different from that of the placebo group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-707
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Cyclosporine
  • Neuroprotection
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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