Exaggerated Postural Blood Pressure Rise Is Related to a Favorable Outcome in Patients With Acute Ischemic Stroke
Background and Purpose—The effects of early upright positioning in the acute phase of ischemic stroke on both blood pressure and functional outcome have not been previously examined.
Methods—Prospective investigation of mean arterial pressure, heart rate, and peripheral oxygen saturation in the supine, sitting, and (if achievable) active standing position 1, 2, and 3 days after an acute stroke was performed. Also investigated was the presence of a significant postural blood pressure rise and fall using orthostatic definitions and the relation to functional outcome after 3 months.
Results—One hundred sixty-seven patients were included (mean age, 68.5±15.2 years; median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, 7). Approximately 60% of the patients were able to stand. On average the mean arterial pressure increased when patients moved from the supine to sitting (Day 1: Δ 3.9 mm Hg; P<0.001) and from sitting to an active standing position (Day 1: Δ 4.6 mm Hg; P<0.001). Changes were most pronounced within the first 24 hours after a stroke. Blood pressure decreased significantly (fall) on standing in 13% of patients and increased significantly (rise) in 20% of the patients. The latter was independently associated with a favorable outcome (P=0.003). Moving to the standing position was accompanied by an increase of heart rate. No difference in oxygen saturation was observed in the various positions over the period of investigation.
Conclusions—We found that a significant blood pressure rise during early upright positioning in patients with acute stroke was independently associated with a favorable outcome. No contraindication to early mobilization was found in this study.
- Received July 12, 2011.
- Revision received August 24, 2011.
- Accepted September 9, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.