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Early Initiation of Oral Antihypertensives Reduces Intensive Care Unit Stay and Hospital Cost for Patients with Hypertensive Intracerebral Hemorrhage.



Intravenous nicardipine infusion is effective for rapid blood pressure control. However, its use requires hemodynamic monitoring in the intensive care unit (ICU) and is associated with high hospital cost. This study aimed to examine the effect of early versus late initiation of oral antihypertensives on ICU length of stay (LOS) and cost of hospitalization in patients with hypertensive intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).


This is a single-center retrospective study of patients with hypertensive ICH treated with nicardipine infusion from January 1, 2013, to December 31, 2017. Patients were dichotomized into study and control groups, based on receiving oral antihypertensives within 24 h versus after 24 h of emergency department arrival. Baseline characteristics, duration of nicardipine infusion, LOS in the ICU and hospital, functional outcome at discharge, and hospital cost were compared between the two groups using univariate and multivariate analysis.


A total of 90 patients in the study group and 76 in the control group were identified. There was no significant difference in demographics, past medical history, and initial SBP between the two groups. After adjusting for confounding factors with multivariate regression models, early initiation of oral antihypertensives was associated with significant reductions in duration of nicardipine infusion (55.5 ± 60.1 vs 121.6 ± 141.3 h, p <0.005), nicardipine cost ($14,207 vs $29,299, p < 0.01), ICU LOS (2 vs 5 days, p < 0.005), and cost of hospitalization ($24,564 vs $47,366, p < 0.01). There was no significant difference in adversary renal events, favorable outcomes, and mortality between the two groups.


Early initiation of oral antihypertensives is safe and may have a significant financial impact on patients with hypertensive ICH.

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