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Sodium Nitroprusside Treatment in Patients With Acute Strokes-Reply

Patrick Lavin, MB, BCh
Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(7):1454. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360190246046.
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—Dr Garner makes three valid points that I will deal with in turn.

  1. Sodium nitroprusside is not ideal, but should be the agent of choice because it is a powerful and predictably effective agent, without a direct effect on the central nervous system, and does not cause patchy ischemia.1 It is currently favored by most experts in the field.2-5 Its capacity to cause raised intracranial pressure is not clearly established.6,7 Diazoxide, used in small frequent boluses, and α-blockers, are also effective agents. However, newer agents such as captopril8 and the calcium channel blockers9 may prove more ideal.

  2. The point that hydralazine hydrochloride caused neurologic deterioration as a result of raised intracranial pressure is well taken, however, the patient did not exhibit signs of raised

  1. intracranial pressure; the computed tomographic scan showed no mass effect, and the neurologic deficit improved on raising the blood pressure. Trimethaphan camsylate, a good drug but


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