Labetalol Use Is Associated With Increased In-Hospital Infection Compared With Nicardipine Use in Intracerebral Hemorrhage

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Background and Purpose—Increased sympathetic tone causes hypertension after intracerebral hemorrhage, and blood pressure reduction has been studied as a way to decrease hemorrhage growth and improve outcomes. It is unknown if the antihypertensive used to achieve blood pressure goals influences either. Because sympatholytic drugs reduce death and infection in animal models, we hypothesized that labetalol would improve outcomes compared with nicardipine.Methods—Prospective data from a single center were retrospectively reviewed. Patients receiving labetalol, nicardipine, or both during their first 3 days of hospitalization were included. Outcomes included in-hospital death; discharge modified Rankin Score >2; and in-hospital urinary tract infection, pneumonia, or bacteremia. Patients were compared with propensity scoring and analyzed with linear models adjusted for significant confounders.Results—Of 1066 admissions, 525 were treated with labetalol or nicardipine and are included; 229 (43.6%) received labetalol, 107 (20.4%) received nicardipine, and 189 (36.0%) received both. Mortality and infection rates were 40.2% and 15.8%, respectively, 77.2% had a modified Rankin Score >2. After adjustment, compared with nicardipine alone, labetalol alone was associated with infection (odds ratio, 3.12; confidence interval, 1.27–7.64; P=0.013) but not when combined with nicardipine (odds ratio, 2.44; confidence interval, 0.98–6.07; P=0.055). Labetalol, with or without nicardipine, was not associated with death or discharge modified Rankin Score >2.Conclusions—Compared with nicardipine, labetalol was associated with increased in-hospital infections, but not mortality or modified Rankin Score >2. These findings do not support our hypothesis that labetalol use improves outcomes relative to nicardipine in intracerebral hemorrhage.

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