Clinical practices, complications, and mortality in neurological patients with acute severe hyperten
Objective: To determine the demographic and clinical features, hospital complications, and predictors of 90-day mortality in neurologic patients with acute severe hypertension. Design: Studying the Treatment of Acute hyperTension (STAT) was a multicenter (n = 25) observational registry of adult critical care patients with severe hypertension treated with intravenous therapy. Setting: Emergency department or intensive care unit. Patients: A qualifying blood pressure measurement >180 mm Hg systolic or >110 mm Hg diastolic (>140/90 mm Hg for subarachnoid hemorrhage) was required for inclusion in the STAT registry. Patients with a primary neurologic admission diagnosis were included in the present analysis. Interventions: All patients were treated with at least one parenteral (bolus or continuous infusion) antihypertensive agent. Measurements and Main Results: Of 1,566 patients included in the STAT registry, 432 (28%) had a primary neurologic diagnosis. The most common diagnoses were subarachnoid hemorrhage (38%), intracerebral hemorrhage (31%), and acute ischemic stroke (18%). The most common initial drug was labetalol (48%), followed by nicardipine (15%), hydralazine (15%), and sodium nitroprusside (13%). Mortality at 90 days was substantially higher in neurologic than in non-neurologic patients (24% vs. 6%, p < .0001). Median initial blood pressure was 183/95 mm Hg and did not differ between survivors and nonsurvivors. In a multivariable analysis, neurologic patients who died experienced lower minimal blood pressure values (median 103/45 vs. 118/55 mm Hg, p < .0001) and were less likely to experience recurrent hypertension requiring intravenous treatment (29% vs. 51%, p = .0001) than those who survived. Mortality was also associated with an increased frequency of neurologic deterioration (32% vs. 10%, p < .0001). Conclusion: Neurologic emergencies account for approximately 30% of hospitalized patients with severe acute hypertension, and the majority of those who die. Mortality in hypertensive neurologic patients is associated with lower minimum blood pressure values, less rebound hypertension, and a higher frequency of neurologic deterioration. Excessive blood pressure reduction may contribute to poor outcome after severe brain injury.
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