Introduction: The purpose of this study was to assess safety and efficacy of thrombolysis in the setting of aggressive blood pressure (BP) control as it compares to standard BP control or no BP control prior to thrombolysis.
Methods: We performed a retrospective review of patients treated with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) for acute ischemic stroke (AIS) between 2004-2011. We compared the outcomes of patients treated with tPA for AIS who required aggressive BP control prior to thrombolysis to those requiring standard or no BP control prior to thrombolysis. The primary outcome of interest was safety, defined by all grades of hemorrhagic transformation and neurologic deterioration. The secondary outcome was efficacy, determined by functional status at discharge, and in-hospital deaths.
Results: Of 427 patients included in the analysis, 89 received aggressive BP control prior to thrombolysis, 65 received standard BP control, and 273 required no BP control prior to thrombolysis. Patients requiring BP control had more severe strokes, with median arrival National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale of 10 (IQR [6-17]) in patients not requiring BP control versus 11 (IQR [5-16]) and 13 (IQR [7-20]) in patients requiring standard and aggressive BP lowering therapies, respectively (p=0.048). In a multiple logistic regression model adjusting for baseline differences, there were no statistically significant differences in adverse events between the three groups (P>0.10).
Conclusion: We observed no association between BP control and adverse outcomes in ischemic stroke patients undergoing thrombolysis. However, additional study is necessary to confirm or refute the safety of aggressive BP control prior to thrombolysis.