Background and purpose: Early intensive blood pressure (BP) lowering has been shown to improve functional outcome in acute intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), but the treatment effect is modest and without a clearly defined underlying explanatory mechanism. We aimed at more reliably quantifying the benefits of this treatment according to different time periods in the recovery of participants in the Intensive Blood Pressure Reduction in Acute Cerebral Hemorrhage Trial (INTERACT) studies.
Methods: Pooled analysis of the pilot INTERACT1 (n = 404) and main INTERACT2 (n = 2,839) involving patients with spontaneous ICH (<6 h) and elevated systolic BP (SBP 150-220 mm Hg) who were randomized to intensive (target SBP <140 mm Hg) or guideline-recommended (target SBP <180 mm Hg) BP lowering treatment. Treatment effects were examined according to repeated measures analysis of an ordinal ('shift') across all 7 levels of the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) assessed during follow-up at 7, 28, and 90 days, post-randomization.
Results: Intensive BP lowering resulted in a significant favorable distribution of mRS scores for better functioning (odds ratio 1.13, 95% confidence interval 1.00-1.26; p = 0.042) over 7, 28 and 90 days, and the effect was consistency for early (7-28 days) and later (28-90 days) time periods (p homogeneity 0.353). Treatment effects were also consistent across several pre-specified patient characteristic subgroups, with trends favoring those randomized early, and with higher SBP and milder neurological severity at baseline.
Conclusions: Intensive BP lowering provides beneficial effects on physical functioning that manifests consistently through the early and later phases of recovery from ICH.
© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.