Introduction: Uncontrolled arterial hypertension increases the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients treated with intravenous tPA and may lead to hematoma progression in patients with primary ICH. While arterial blood pressure (aBP) is commonly monitored using intermittent oscillometric measurements, vascular unloading based assessment (VUA) allows noninvasive continuous (beat-to-beat) aBP monitoring with a finger cuff. We hypothesized that VUA monitoring is feasible in post thrombolysis and ICH care and shows diagnostic agreement with intermittent oscillometric assessment.
Methods: Consecutive patients with either AIS receiving intravenous tPA or ICH were prospectively monitored for 24 hours following the index event using VUA monitoring and contralateral oscillometric aBP measurement every 30 minutes. Bland Altman Plot and linear regression were conducted to define diagnostic agreement.
Results: We enrolled 24 AIS patients (10 males, aged 74±15 years, mean±standard deviation) receiving tPA and 24 ICH patients (16 males, aged 67±16 years). Mean systolic aBP assessed via VUA was higher and mean diastolic aBP was lower compared to oscillometric assessment in the entire population (systolic: 147 ± 23 mmHg vs. 144 ± 34, p=0.004; diastolic: 75 ± 14 mmHg vs. 77 ± 20 mmHg vs, p=0.004) There was a positive association between VUA and oscillometric aBP profiles (systolic aBP: coef. 0.24, p<0.005; diastolic aBP: coef. 0.31, p<0.005; figure). However, diagnostic agreement analysis was inconclusive. (Bland Altman Plot)
Conclusions: Although VUA and oscillometric aBP profiles were positively associated in our study, diagnostic agreement between the techniques was not sufficient to recommend implementation of VUA in clinical practice.