Mechanical thrombectomy (MT) is the standard of care for patients who present with an acute ischemic stroke within 6 hours of symptom onset, and up to 24 hours in appropriately selected patients. However, optimal postoperative management of these patients remains uncertain, especially with regard to blood pressure control. To review the existing literature to define potential blood pressure goals in the immediate postoperative period in patients who undergo MT for acute ischemic stroke. The topic was defined through a clinical scenario and the subsequent development of a targeted clinical question. A literature search was performed, with relevant articles selected, one of which, a prospective observational study, was critically appraised. Participants included neurology residents and consultants, a medical librarian, clinical epidemiologists, as well as content experts from vascular neurology and interventional neuroradiology. Permissive hypertension (defined as <220/120 or <180/105 mm Hg as per the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guidelines) may be harmful in the postoperative period following MT, especially in patients who were successfully recanalized. Moderate blood pressure control (<160/90) was found to be a predictor of improved 3-month mortality on multivariable logistic regression analysis in patients who sustained successful reperfusion [odds ratio (OR), 0.08; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.01-0.054; P=0.01]. A 10 mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure was found to result in a lower OR of having a favorable 3-month functional independence (OR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.56-0.85; P=0.001) as well as higher rates of 3-month mortality (OR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.18-1.88; P=0.001). Blood pressure goals in the immediate postoperative period in patients who undergo MT should differ than those who do not undergo MT, with data suggesting that lower blood pressure than permissive hypertension may be related to improved outcomes, especially in cases of successful reperfusion. However, current data are derived from observational studies; further studies, preferably in the form of randomized-controlled trials, are needed to further clarify the relationship between postoperative blood pressures and outcomes in this patient population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology