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July 1984

Hypertension, Vascular Headaches, and Seizures After Carotid Endarterectomy: Case Report and Therapeutic Considerations

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, General Medicine Unit, University of Rochester (NY) School of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr Dolan is a Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Fellow.

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(7):1489-1491. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.00350190197033

• The following three unusual complications of carotid endarterectomy developed in a 64-year-old woman: vascular headaches, delayed hypertension, and seizures. β-Blockade with propranolol hydrochloride had no beneficial effect on either the hypertension or the headaches. Peripheral α-blockade with prazosin hydrochloride resulted in prompt improvement in the patient's condition. Altered autonomic vascular control secondary to carotid sinus trauma is proposed as a possible causative mechanism for all three complications. The therapeutic implications are discussed. Based on this experience, we would caution against the use of unopposed β-blockade in this setting and suggest that the role of prazosin in the initial management of postendarterectomy hypertension and vascular headache be explored.

(Arch Intern Med 1984;144:1489-1491)