J Neurol. 2023 Mar 8. doi: 10.1007/s00415-023-11654-w. Online ahead of print.
The aim of the present meta-analysis was to evaluate the outcomes and effects of different systolic blood pressure (SBP) lowering in patients with hemorrhagic stroke using data from randomized controlled trials. A total of 2592 records were identified for this meta-analysis. We finally included 8 studies (6119 patients; mean age 62.8 ± 13.0, 62.7% men). No evidence of heterogeneity between estimates (I2 = 0% < 50%, P = 0.26), or publication bias in the funnel plots (P = 0.065, Egger statistical test) was detected. Death or major disability rates were similar between patients with intensive BP-lowering treatment (SBP < 140 mmHg) and those receiving guideline BP-lowering treatment (SBP < 180 mmHg). Intensive BP-lowering treatment may have a better functional outcome, but the results were not significantly different (log RR = - 0.03, 95% CI: - 0.09 to 0.02; P = 0.55). Intensive BP-lowering treatment tended to be associated with lower early hematoma growth compared with guideline treatment (log RR = - 0.24, 95% CI - 0.38, - 0.11; P < 0.001). Intensive BP-lowering helps reduce hematoma enlargement in the early stage of acute hemorrhagic stroke. However, this observation did not translate into functional outcomes. Further research is needed to clarify the specific scope and time of blood pressure reduction.