[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator therapy within 3 hours of stroke onset is a proven effective treatment for acute ischemic stroke.
To assess the feasibility and safety of rt-PA therapy for reperfusion in routine clinical practice in Israel, in the setting of a dedicated stroke unit.
Consecutive patients presenting within less than 3 hours of stroke onset were evaluated by an emergency physician and the neurology stroke team. After brain computerized tomography, eligible patients were treated with intravenous rt-PA (0.9 mg/kg, maximum dose 90 mg) according to an in-hospital protocol corresponding to recommended criteria. Patients were admitted to the acute stroke unit. Safety and clinical outcome were routinely assessed. Recanalization was assessed by serial transcranial Doppler.
The study group comprised 16 patients, mean age 61 years (range 47-80 years), male to female ratio 10:6, whose median baseline National Institutes of Health stroke scale was 13 (range 6-24). They were treated within a mean door-to-CT time of 39 minutes (range 17-62 min), door-to-drug time 101 minutes (range 72-150), and stroke onset-to-drug time 151 minutes (range 90-180). There was an early improvement within 24 hours (of > or = 4 points in the NIHSS score) in 7 patients (44%) and no early deteriorations. There were no protocol deviations, no symptomatic intracranial hemorrhages, and no major systemic hemorrhage within 36 hours of rt-PA treatment. Three asymptomatic hemorrhagic transformations of the infarct were noted on routine follow-up brain CT associated with neurologic improvement. Outcome data were comparable to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke rt-PA Stroke Study.
Intravenous rt-PA treatment within 3 hours of stroke onset in routine clinical practice in Israel is feasible and appears safe in the setting of a neurology stroke unit and team. Careful implementation of rt-PA therapy for selected patients in Israel is encouraged.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2004 · The Israel Medical Association journal: IMAJ