Safety and tolerability of cyclosporin a in severe traumatic brain injury patients: Results from a prospective randomized trial

Anna Teresa Mazzeo, Gretchen M. Brophy, Charlotte B. Gilman, Óscar Luís Alves, Jaime R. Robles, Ronald L. Hayes, John T. Povlishock, M. Ross Bullock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Cyclosporin A (CsA) has recently been proposed for use in the early phase after traumatic brain injury (TBI), for its ability to preserve mitochondrial integrity in experimental brain injury models, and thereby provide improved behavioral outcomes as well as significant histological protection. The aim of this prospective, randomized, double-blind, dual-center, placebo-controlled trial was to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of a single intravenous infusion of CsA in patients with severe TBI. Fifty adult severe TBI patients were enrolled over a 22-month period. Within 12h of the injury patients received 5mg/kg of CsA infused over 24h, or placebo. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, hemoglobin, platelets, white blood cell count (WBC), and a hepatic panel were monitored on admission, and at 12, 24, 36, and 48h, and on days 4 and 7. Potential adverse events (AEs) were also recorded. Neurological outcome was recorded at 3 and 6 months after injury. This study revealed only transient differences in BUN levels at 24 and 48h and for WBC counts at 24h between the CsA and placebo patients. These modest differences were not clinically significant in that they did not negatively impact on patient course. Both BUN and creatinine values, markers of renal function, remained within their normal limits over the entire monitoring period. There were no significant differences in other mean laboratory values, or in the incidence of AEs at any other measured time point. Also, no significant difference was demonstrated for neurological outcome. Based on these results, we report a good safety profile of CsA infusion when given at the chosen dose of 5mg/kg, infused over 24h, during the early phase after severe head injury in humans, with the aim of neuroprotection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2195-2206
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of neurotrauma
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009


  • Cyclosporin A
  • Neuroprotection
  • Nurological outcome
  • Safety
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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