Controversy persists as to whether reducing the blood pressure of patients with a history of stroke leads to an increased risk of silent brain infarct (SBI) and dementia. A total of 667 patients were randomized to receive the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor perindopril (4 mg daily), with or without the diuretic indapamide (2 mg daily) or matching placebo(s). Brain CT scanning was performed annually over the mean follow-up period of 3.9 years. Active treatment reduced the blood pressure (systolic/diastolic) by 5.2/2.6 mmHg over the follow-up period. A total of 119 new SBI were detected and 92% of them were lacunar type small infarcts. The frequency of reaching the primary end-point (recurrent symptomatic stroke or new SBI) was similar in the placebo group (26.5%) and in the active treatment group (25.9%). There was no significant difference in brain atrophy indices between two groups. In the subgroup with a history of large artery infarction, 7 out of 55 patients from the placebo group developed new SBI, while none of the 40 patients from the active treatment group did so (p=0.020). The baseline diastolic blood pressure was significantly associated with the risk of new SBI (p=0.004), but the stroke subtype was not. In conclusion, blood pressure-lowering with a perindopril-based regimen did not increase the risk of SBI and brain atrophy in patients with a history of stroke. The baseline diastolic blood pressure was an independent predictor of new SBI, but the index stroke subtype did not influence the risk of SBI.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine