Recent data suggest that blood pressure (BP) variability confers increased cardiovascular risk independently of BP. We aimed to evaluate the association between BP variability during the acute phase of ischemic stroke and the in-hospital outcome.METHODS
We prospectively studied 608 consecutive patients admitted with acute ischemic stroke (39.5% males, age: 79.1±6.6 years). Variability in BP was assessed with the SD and with the coefficient of variation of systolic (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) during the first 2 and the first 3 days of hospitalization. The outcome was assessed with dependency rates at discharge and with in-hospital mortality.RESULTS
Patients who were dependent at discharge did not differ from patients who were independent in any index of BP variability. Independent predictors of dependency at discharge were age (relative risk (RR) 1.17, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09–1.25, P < 0.001), history of prior ischemic stroke (RR 2.08, 95% CI 1.02–4.24, P = 0.04), and National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) at admission (RR 1.64, 95% CI 1.44–1.86, P < 0.001). Patients who died during hospitalization did not differ in any index of BP variability from patients who were discharged. DBP at admission was independently and directly associated with in-hospital mortality (RR 1.06, 95% CI 1.03–1.09, P < 0.001). Other independent predictors of in-hospital mortality were history of atrial fibrillation (RR 3.30, 95% CI 1.46–7.49, P = 0.004) and NIHSS at admission (RR 1.18, 95% CI 1.13–1.23, P < 0.001).CONCLUSIONS
Our data do not support the hypothesis of an association between BP variability and in-hospital outcomes among patients admitted for ischemic stroke.