Association between neurologic improvement with decline in blood pressure and recanalization in stroke

Nandakumar Nagaraja, Steven Warach, Amie W. Hsia, Harold P. Adams, Sungyoung Auh, Lawrence L. Latour, José G. Merino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


IMPORTANCE: Patients with stroke often have a decline in blood pressure after thrombolysis. Neurologic improvement could result from recanalization or better collateral flow despite persistent occlusion.We hypothesized that neurologic improvement with concurrent decline in blood pressure may be a clinical sign of recanalization after intravenous tissue plasminogen activator. OBSERVATIONS: Patients treated with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator at Suburban Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland, and MedStarWashington Hospital Center,Washington, DC, from 1999 to 2009 were included in the study if they had pretreatment and 24-hour magnetic resonance angiographic scans, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale scores at those times, and proximal middle cerebral artery occlusion demonstrated prior to treatment. The recanalization status on 24-hour magnetic resonance angiography was classified as none, partial, or complete. Seventeen patients met study criteria. On 24-hour magnetic resonance angiography, 3 patients had no recanalization, 8 had partial recanalization, and 6 had complete recanalization. At 24 hours after thrombolysis, neurologic improvement with concurrent decline in systolic blood pressure of 20mmHg or greater was seen in 4 patients with partial recanalization, 4 patients with complete recanalization, and none of the patients with no recanalization. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Neurologic improvement with concurrent decline in systolic blood pressure of 20mmHg or greater after intravenous tissue plasminogen activator may be a clinical sign of recanalization. This observation needs confirmation in a larger cohort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1555-1558
Number of pages4
JournalJAMA neurology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology

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