Acute hypertension in intracerebral hemorrhage: Pathophysiology and treatment

Qaisar A. Shah, Mustapha A. Ezzeddine, Adnan I. Qureshi

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22 Scopus citations


Non-traumatic or spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is defined as intra-parenchymal bleeding with or without extension into the ventricles and rarely into the subarachoid space. Primary ICH in most cases is associated with chronic hypertension. Acute hypertension is associated with hematoma expansion, and poor neurological outcome. The treatment of hypertension in acute ICH is a topic of controversy. Experiments have shown an area of ischemia around the hematoma, with the reduction of regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) secondary to compression of microvasculature. Not all scientific results agree with the above findings. Recent studies have shown that CBF decreases in the perihematoma region but with concomitant reduction of cerebral metabolism, which would argue against an area of ischemia in the perihematoma region. Based on the above result, there have been several clinical trials looking at clinical outcome and decrease in hematoma expansion rates with reduction of blood pressure acutely after ICH. The parameters for the blood pressure control are still under investigation. The American Heart Association has put forward guidelines for blood pressure control which have been adopted in the centers around the country. We have described the protocol we use at our center for the blood pressure control in patients with acute ICH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-79
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Oct 15 2007


  • American Heart Association
  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Hematoma expansion
  • Hypertension
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Intracranial pressure
  • Mean arterial pressure
  • Nicardipine


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