J Clin Neurol.  2016 Apr;12(2):137-146. 10.3988/jcn.2016.12.2.137.

Blood Pressure in Acute Ischemic Stroke

  • 1Neurovascular Imaging Research Core & UCLA Stroke Center, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA. davidliebeskind@yahoo.com


Hypertension is present in up to 84% of patients presenting with acute stroke, and a smaller proportion of patients have blood pressures that are below typical values in the context of cerebral ischemia. Outcomes are generally worse in those who present with either low or severely elevated blood pressure. Several studies have provided valuable information about malignant trends in blood pressure during the transition from the acute to the subacute phase of stroke. It is not uncommon for practitioners in clinical practice to identify what appear to be pressure-dependent neurologic deficits. Despite physiologic and clinical data suggesting the importance of blood pressure modulation to support cerebral blood flow to ischemic tissue, randomized controlled trials have not yielded robust evidence for this in acute ischemic stroke. We highlight previous studies involving acute-stroke patients that have defined trends in blood pressure and that have evaluated the safety and efficacy of blood-pressure modulation in acute ischemic stroke. This overview reports the current status of this topic from the perspective of a stroke neurologist and provides a framework for future research.


acute ischemic stroke; hypotension; hypertension; blood pressure augmentation and stroke; permissive hypertension

MeSH Terms

Blood Pressure*
Brain Ischemia
Neurologic Manifestations
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