Lack of association between progressive supranuclear palsy and arterial hypertension: A clinicopathological study



It has been reported that up to 80% of patients clinically diagnosed as having progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) may have arterial hypertension (HT). Because previous studies were performed on patients with presumed diagnosis of PSP, we tried to replicate these studies in a series of pathologically confirmed patients. Seventy-three patients with a neuropathological diagnosis of PSP autopsied at the Queen Square Brain Bank for Neurological Disorders in London were collected between 1989 and 1999. For the purpose of this study, patients were considered hypertensive if a blood pressure above 140/90 mm Hg was found in the clinical records. The prevalence of HT in PSP patients at the first and at the last visit during their neurological disease was compared with that found in a series of 21 normal controls who donated their brain to the same institution. Overall, 29 of 73 (39.7%) of the patients were recorded as having HT at the first visit during the disease course; this ratio increased to 42 of 73 (57.5%) at the last visit before death. When these figures were compared to the 21 normal controls (11 of 21 with HT, 52.4%), we were unable to find an increased prevalence of HT in PSP (odds ratio, 0.60; 95% confidence interval, 0.20–1.76). Therefore, HT does not represent an important clinical feature of this neurodegenerative disorder, although cerebrovascular disease can masquerade clinically as PSP. © 2003 Movement Disorder Society