Ischemic stroke patients not receiving life-saving treatment, study finds

October 5, 2017 by Jennifer Rainey Marquez, Georgia State University
Credit: Georgia State University

Ischemic stroke patients who do not receive intravelous (IV) alteplase, a clot-dissolving medication, are significantly less likely to survive, according to researchers at Georgia State University.

Ischemic is the most common type of stroke. It occurs when a vessel that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain becomes blocked, often by a blood clot. IV alteplase was approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a for acute in 1996 and is known to reduce disability and improve functionality by restoring blood flow to the brain. Yet two decades later, less than 10 percent of patients receive the treatment.

The study, published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, analyzed 2008-13 data from the Georgia Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry, and linked it to 2008–13 hospital discharge and 2008–14 death data in Georgia. The investigators found that one year after discharge, patients who did not receive IV alteplase treatment had a 49 percent higher likelihood of death.

"Clinicians may be hesitant to administer IV alteplase because of concerns about the drug's complications, which can include bleeding," said Dr. Moges Ido, the study's lead author and a part-time instructor at Georgia State's School of Public Health. "But this study indicates that unless major contraindications are present, patients should be offered this treatment as a life-saving measure."

The study authors examined data from 9,620 patients who were treated at 48 hospitals. They excluded patients who weren't eligible to receive the treatment because of contraindications, such as a recent history of brain surgery. Only a quarter of the eligible patients received IV alteplase.

Previous randomized studies have shown some long-term mortality reduction for patients treated with IV alteplase but the results were not statistically significant. This study demonstrates that IV alteplase is associated with reduced risk of death, and that eligible should be identified and treated swiftly.

Explore further: Low-dose alteplase no better for acute ischemic stroke

More information: Moges S. Ido et al. The impact of intravenous alteplase on long-term patient survival: The Georgia Coverdell acute stroke registry's experience, The American Journal of Emergency Medicine (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.ajem.2017.07.092

Related Stories

Low-dose alteplase no better for acute ischemic stroke

October 3, 2017
(HealthDay)—For key demographic subgroups of patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS), low-dose alteplase does not differ from standard-dose alteplase in terms of treatment effects on death or disability, according to ...

Brain scan study shows clot-busting drug benefits stroke patients

April 9, 2015
A drug that breaks up blood clots in the brains of stroke patients could be used more widely than at present without increased risk, a brain scan study suggests.

Alteplase treatment reduces long-term disability and improves quality of life in stroke survivors

June 20, 2013
New research published Online First in The Lancet Neurology indicates that giving the clot-busting drug alteplase up to 6 hours after a stroke reduces long-term disability, significantly increases the likelihood of independence, ...

New drug treatment could offer stroke survivors better outcomes

February 26, 2015
Promising results for a new drug treatment for ischaemic stroke patients have been published today in the journal Lancet Neurology.

Tenecteplase drug bests standard treatment for certain strokes

March 22, 2012
(HealthDay) -- A medication called tenecteplase may be more effective at treating strokes caused by clots in large blood vessels in the brain than the current standard therapy, Australian researchers report.

Delay in seeking stroke care costs women best treatment

July 25, 2013
Women with clot-caused strokes are less likely than men to arrive at the hospital in time to receive the best treatment, according to a European study reported in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

Recommended for you

New model suggests cuffless, non-invasive blood pressure monitoring possible using pulse waves

October 16, 2018
A large team of researchers from several institutions in China and the U.S. has developed a model that suggests it should be possible to create a cuffless, non-invasive blood pressure monitor based on measuring pulse waves. ...

Why heart contractions are weaker in those with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

October 16, 2018
When a young athlete suddenly dies of a heart attack, chances are high that they suffer from familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Itis the most common genetic heart disease in the US and affects an estimated 1 in 500 ...

Novel genetic study sheds new light on risk of heart attack

October 12, 2018
Loss of a protein that regulates mitochondrial function can greatly increase the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack), Vanderbilt scientists reported Oct. 3 in the journal eLife.

Researchers say ritual for orthodox Jewish men may offer heart benefits

October 11, 2018
A pilot study led by researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine suggests Jewish men who practice wearing tefillin, which involves the tight wrapping of an arm with leather banding as part of daily ...

Markers of dairy fat consumption linked to lower risk of type two diabetes

October 10, 2018
Higher levels of biomarkers of dairy fat consumption are associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to new research published today in PLOS Medicine. The study, in more than 60,000 adults, was undertaken ...

Seed oils are best for LDL cholesterol

October 9, 2018
If you want to lower your low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, called LDL or, colloquially, "bad cholesterol," the research is clear about one thing: You should exchange saturated fats with unsaturated fat. If you want to ...

0 comments

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.