Background There is sparse literature on the natural history of blood pressure (BP) after intra-arterial therapy (IAT) for acute ischemic stroke (AIS).
Methods A retrospective analysis was performed of patients with AIS who underwent IAT without endotracheal intubation for internal carotid artery terminus (ICA-T) or M1 middle cerebral artery occlusion from January 2008 to February 2012. Systolic BP (SBP) values at the beginning (First) and end (End) of IAT and for 36 h after the procedure were collected. Successful recanalization was defined as Thrombolysis In Cerebral Infarction (TICI) 2b–3.
Results Sixty-two patients (14 (22.5%) ICA-T, 46 (74.2%) M1, 2 (3.2%) ICA-T+M1) met the study criteria and 37 (59.7%) achieved successful recanalization. The First and End SBP values were similar in the successful (Group R) and unsuccessful (Group NR) recanalization groups. Taking the whole cohort, End SBP was significantly lower than First SBP, but this decline was significant only in Group R. Subsequently, absolute SBP values in Group R were not significantly different from Group NR. However, when comparing the hourly decline of SBP with First SBP, Group R demonstrated a greater fall than Group NR and the decline was significantly different from hours 8 to 12 post-procedure. The SBP in Group NR then decreased further, and its difference from baseline was similar to Group R from hour 14 onwards. Mean SBP and SBP variability over 36 h were similar between the two groups.
Conclusions SBP falls significantly in patients with AIS with large vessel occlusion who recanalize with IAT. While SBP in non-recanalized patients also drops from baseline, it occurs to a lesser degree and stays higher only for a short period of time before falling to similar levels as in recanalized patients.
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