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Curr Cardiol Rep. 2013 Jun;15(6):366. doi: 10.1007/s11886-013-0366-2.

The management of hypertension for an acute stroke: what is the blood pressure goal?

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  • 1Hauenstein Neuroscience Center, Saint Mary's Health Care, Translational Science & Molecular Medicine, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, 220 Cherry Street SE H 3037, Grand Rapids, MI, USA.


Stroke is the 4th leading cause of death in the US and a leading cause of disability among adults. Stroke is broadly classified into ischemic and hemorrhagic subtypes. Although the pathogenesis may differ between ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke subtypes, a unifying feature is that hypertension is a major risk factor for most ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. Prevention of first and recurrent stroke is substantially dependent on blood pressure control. There is controversy about blood pressure management in acute stroke. In this review we discuss controversies about and guidelines for management of blood pressure in acute stroke. We subdivide our discussion to address important questions about acute blood pressure management in ischemic stroke, intraparenchymal hemorrhage, and subarachnoid hemorrhage. In addition, we address BP control recommendations when tissue plasminogen activator administration is being contemplated for treatment of acute ischemic stroke.

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