Telmisartan on Top of Antihypertensive Treatment Does Not Prevent Progression of Cerebral White Matter Lesions in the Prevention Regimen for Effectively Avoiding Second Strokes (PRoFESS) MRI Substudy
Background and Purpose—High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for cerebral white matter lesions (WMLs). There is limited evidence from one randomized trial that blood pressure-lowering is able to slow WML progression. We investigated whether telmisartan prevents WML progression in the imaging substudy of the Prevention Regimen for Effectively Avoiding Second Strokes (PRoFESS) trial.
Methods—This predefined substudy comprised 771 patients (mean age, 65 years) with recent ischemic stroke of noncardioembolic origin who received telmisartan or placebo during a mean follow-up of 27.9 (SD, 7.6) months and had 2 evaluable MRI examinations after index stroke and at study closeout. All MRI scans were centrally adjudicated for progression of periventricular and subcortical WML by 2 neuroradiologists blinded to treatment allocation.
Results—Mean blood pressure was 3.0/1.3 mm Hg lower with telmisartan compared with placebo at follow-up MRI. There was no statistically significant difference in progression of the mean periventricular WML score (least squares mean difference, 0.14; 95% CI, −0.12 to 0.39; P=0.29) and mean subcortical WML diameter (least squares mean difference, −0.35 mm; 95% CI, −1.00 to 0.31 mm; P=0.30) during follow-up between patients on telmisartan and placebo.
Conclusions—Treatment with telmisartan on top of existing antihypertensive medication did not result in significant blood pressure-lowering and did not prevent the progression of WML in patients with a recent ischemic stroke in this patient cohort. Our analysis is limited by the relatively short follow-up period.
- antihypertensive treatment
- cerebral small vessel disease
- ischemic stroke
- magnetic resonance imaging
- secondary prevention
- white matter lesion
- Received December 18, 2011.
- Revision received May 10, 2012.
- Accepted May 31, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.