Ultra‐Early Blood Pressure Reduction Attenuates Hematoma Growth and Improves Outcome in Intracerebral Hemorrhage
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OBJECTIVE: The aim was to investigate whether intensive blood pressure treatment is associated with less hematoma growth and better outcome in intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) patients who received intravenous nicardipine treatment ≤2 hours after onset of symptoms. METHODS: A post-hoc exploratory analysis of the Antihypertensive Treatment of Acute Cerebral Hemorrhage 2 (ATACH-2) trial was performed. This was a multicenter, international, open-label, randomized clinical trial, in which patients with primary ICH were allocated to intensive versus standard blood pressure treatment with nicardipine ≤4.5 hours after onset of symptoms. We have included 913 patients with complete imaging and follow-up data in the present analysis. RESULTS: Among the 913 included patients, 354 (38.7%) had intravenous nicardipine treatment initiated within 2 hours. In this subgroup of patients treated within 2 hours, the frequency of ICH expansion was significantly lower in the intensive blood pressure reduction group compared with the standard treatment group (p = 0.02). Multivariable analysis showed that ultra-early intensive blood pressure treatment was associated with a decreased risk of hematoma growth (odds ratio, 0.56; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.34-0.92; p = 0.02), higher rate of functional independence (odds ratio, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.28-3.68; p = 0.004), and good outcome (odds ratio, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.01-2.83; p = 0.048) at 90 days. Ultra-early intensive blood pressure reduction was associated with a favorable shift in modified Rankin Scale score distribution at 3 months (p = 0.04). INTERPRETATION: In a subgroup of ICH patients with elevated blood pressure given intravenous nicardipine ≤2 hours after onset of symptoms, intensive blood pressure reduction was associated with reduced hematoma growth and improved functional outcome. ANN NEUROL 2020;88:388-395.
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