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Stroke

Inducing high blood pressure after a stroke

03/08/2007

Question:

My father suffered a mild stroke while vacationing 2 weeks ago. He was not treated for 1 week, then admitted to the hospital with mild speech trouble and some loss of control in his left arm. The caratoid artery scan showed a lesion at a bend, with 70 per cent blockage. The neurologist prescribed a blood thinner, and something to induce high blood pressure. He said the high blood pressure would open the vessels in his brain and push through any clots. Before he could have surgery on the artery, my father suffered a bleed in his brain, with a blood clot which has caused major seizures (no prior seizure history). They are continuing to induce high blood pressure with seizure medication. Is inducing high blood pressure a standard treatment for stroke? Can you direct me to more information on this type of treatment?

Answer:

Inducing high blood pressure is a relatively common treatment approach in acute stroke, in select cases. Most individuals with acute stroke demonstrate the typical response of high blood pressure, and do not need to be treated with induced high blood pressure. Thus, it is not considered standard of care.

You can find out more information about blood pressure and stroke, and the treatment option of induced high blood pressure by reading the references listed below. I hope this helps, and I hope all the best for your father.

More Information:

Broderick J, Brott T, Barsan W, et al. Blood pressure during the first minutes of focal cerebral ischemia. Ann Emerg Med 1993;22:1438

Rordorf G, Cramer SC, Efird JT, et al. Pharmacological elevation of blood pressure in acute stroke: clinical effects and safety. Stroke 1997; 28:2133-2138.

For more information:

Go to the Stroke health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Gwendolyn F Lynch, MD Gwendolyn F Lynch, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Neurology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University