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

A nanoparticle inhalant for treating heart disease

January 18, 2018
A team of researchers from Italy and Germany has developed a nanoparticle inhalant for treating people suffering from heart disease. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

Heart-muscle patches made with human cells improve heart attack recovery

January 10, 2018
Large, human cardiac-muscle patches created in the lab have been tested, for the first time, on large animals in a heart attack model. This clinically relevant approach showed that the patches significantly improved recovery ...

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.