Post-stroke clot-busting therapy beneficial for patients on aspirin

March 10, 2008

Patients given a clot-busting drug following stroke appear to have better outcomes if they were already taking anti-platelet medications, despite an apparent increased risk for bleeding in the brain, according to an article posted online today that will appear in the May 2008 print issue of Archives of Neurology.

Dissolving blood clots by administering the drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) appears to improve outcomes in some patients with stroke, according to background information in the article. However, the medication is associated with a 10-fold increased risk of symptomatic brain hemorrhage (bleeding). Antiplatelet medications, such as aspirin, might further increase the risk for bleeding because these drugs impair the function of cells critical in forming blood clots.

Maarten Uyttenboogaart, M.D., and colleagues at the University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands, studied 301 patients who received tPA following stroke between 2002 and 2006. Of those, 89 had used antiplatelet drugs prior to receiving tPA.

Symptomatic brain hemorrhages occurred in 12 patients who had received antiplatelet therapy (13.5 percent) and six patients who had not (2.8 percent). Patients who had been taking antiplatelet therapy had a higher risk for symptomatic brain hemorrhages. “Despite this increased risk, prior antiplatelet therapy increased the odds of a favorable outcome,” defined as the ability to independently carry out activities of daily living after three months, the authors write. “Therefore, our study suggests that tPA treatment should not be withheld from patients receiving antiplatelet therapy.”

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals

Explore further: Smoking rises in Argentina heart attack patients as cigarettes 'among cheapest in world'

Related Stories

DAPT use variable in patients with A-fib at risk of stroke

August 16, 2016

(HealthDay)—For patients with atrial fibrillation at moderate to high risk of stroke, dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) use is variable among those undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), according to a study ...

Shorter dual antiplatelet duration holds up in NIPPON

August 29, 2016

A short-term course of dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) is non-inferior to a longer course in patients who have undergone placement of a particular kind of drug-eluting stent (DES), researchers reported here.

Recommended for you

Natural compound reduces signs of aging in healthy mice

October 27, 2016

Much of human health hinges on how well the body manufactures and uses energy. For reasons that remain unclear, cells' ability to produce energy declines with age, prompting scientists to suspect that the steady loss of efficiency ...

A metabolic switch to turn off obesity

October 27, 2016

You've tried all the diets. No matter: you've still regained the weight you lost, even though you ate well and you exercised regularly! This may be due to a particular enzyme in the brain: the alpha/beta hydrolase domain-6 ...

Mitochondria control stem cell fate

October 27, 2016

What happens in intestinal epithelial cells during a chronic illness? Basic research conducted at the Chair of Nutrition and Immunology at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) addressed this question by generating a new ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.