Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND: Treatment of acute stroke, before a distinction can be made between ischemic and hemorrhagic types, is challenging. Whether very early blood-pressure control in the ambulance improves outcomes among patients with undifferentiated acute stroke is uncertain. METHODS: We randomly assigned patients with suspected acute stroke that caused a motor deficit and with elevated systolic blood pressure (≥150 mm Hg), who were assessed in the ambulance within 2 hours after the onset of symptoms, to receive immediate treatment to lower the systolic blood pressure (target range, 130 to 140 mm Hg) (intervention group) or usual blood-pressure management (usual-care group). The primary efficacy outcome was functional status as assessed by the score on the modified Rankin scale (range, 0 [no symptoms] to 6 [death]) at 90 days after randomization. The primary safety outcome was any serious adverse event. RESULTS: A total of 2404 patients (mean age, 70 years) in China underwent randomization and provided consent for the trial: 1205 in the intervention group and 1199 in the usual-care group. The median time between symptom onset and randomization was 61 minutes (interquartile range, 41 to 93), and the mean blood pressure at randomization was 178/98 mm Hg. Stroke was subsequently confirmed by imaging in 2240 patients, of whom 1041 (46.5%) had a hemorrhagic stroke. At the time of patients' arrival at the hospital, the mean systolic blood pressure in the intervention group was 159 mm Hg, as compared with 170 mm Hg in the usual-care group. Overall, there was no difference in functional outcome between the two groups (common odds ratio, 1.00; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.87 to 1.15), and the incidence of serious adverse events was similar in the two groups. Prehospital reduction of blood pressure was associated with a decrease in the odds of a poor functional outcome among patients with hemorrhagic stroke (common odds ratio, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.60 to 0.92) but an increase among patients with cerebral ischemia (common odds ratio, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.06 to 1.60). CONCLUSIONS: In this trial, prehospital blood-pressure reduction did not improve functional outcomes in a cohort of patients with undifferentiated acute stroke, of whom 46.5% subsequently received a diagnosis of hemorrhagic stroke. (Funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and others; INTERACT4 number, NCT03790800; Chinese Trial Registry number, ChiCTR1900020534.).

Original publication




Journal article


N Engl J Med

Publication Date





1862 - 1872


Humans, Male, Female, Aged, Ambulances, Middle Aged, Blood Pressure, Stroke, Hypertension, Antihypertensive Agents, Emergency Medical Services, Time-to-Treatment, Aged, 80 and over, Ischemic Stroke