The role of blood pressure lowering before and after stroke

Geoffrey A. Donnan, Stephen M. Davis, Amanda Thrift

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of review: Elevated blood pressure is one of the most potent risk factors for first ever and recurrent stroke as well as influencing early outcome after acute stroke. There have been a number of significant randomized controlled trials which may influence management in each of these three categories. Recent findings: For primary prevention, the recent information from the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation, Losartan Intervention for Endpoint Reduction to Hypertension, Study on Cognition and Prognosis in the Elderly and Australian National Blood Pressure Study support the view that blood pressure lowering protects against stroke regardless of baseline blood pressure level. There is some evidence that blockade of the angiotensin system may give additional protection. For secondary prevention, evidence from the Perindopril Protection against Recurrent Stroke Study shows that blood pressure lowering with perindopril based therapy reduces fatal or non-fatal stroke events, again in hypertensive or normotensive individuals. There is uncertainty about blood pressure lowering in acute stroke, although presentation of the recent Acute Candesartan Cilexetil Evaluation in Stroke Survivors trial in which there was significant protection against vascular events using candesartan suggests that further studies should be undertaken. Summary: Blood pressure lowering for primary prevention of stroke should be undertaken using a variety of therapeutic agents. For secondary stroke prevention perindopril based therapy should be used based on current evidence. Uncertainty still exists as to whether blood pressure lowering in the acute stroke setting is safe or improves outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-86
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood pressure
  • Stroke

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