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Medicineworld.org: Clot-busting drug in stroke patients

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Clot-busting drug in stroke patients




The clot-busting drug rt-PA remains the most beneficial proven emergency therapy for strokes caused by blood clots, as per an editorial in the recent issue of Archives of Neurology by Dr. Jos Biller.

"The benefits of therapy outweigh the risks in patients treated with intravenous rt-PA within 4.5 hours of symptom onset," Biller wrote. Biller is chairman of the Department of Neurology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and an internationally recognized expert on stroke care.

Most strokes are ischemic, meaning they are caused by blood clots that block blood flow in the brain. Brain cells begin dying when they are starved of blood supply. But if administered soon enough, an IV drug known as recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) can dissolve clots, restore blood flow and limit damage.



Clot-busting drug in stroke patients

Biller's editorial is about a study, reported in the same issue, by Dr. Ioan-Paul Muresan and his colleagues at Assistance Publique -- Hopitaux de Paris. The study observed that stroke patients who show improvement within one hour of receiving rt-PA were more likely to do well three months later,.

Scientists followed 120 patients who received rt-PA and observed that 22 (18.3 percent) showed significant improvement within one hour of therapy. After three months, 15 of these patients (68.2 percent) had a favorable outcome. By comparison, only 29.6 percent of patients who did not show early improvement had a favorable outcome at three months.

These findings suggest that a quick bedside evaluation "can predict good response," Biller wrote. On the other hand, a poor response in the first hour can predict a poor outcome at three months. In such cases, physicians "can begin consideration of mechanical interventions, intra-arterial treatment or other alternative therapies".

Additional studies involving larger populations at multiple centers "are needed to address the significance and clinical utility of the intriguing findings of this carefully conducted study," Biller wrote.


Posted by: Daniel    Source




Did you know?
The clot-busting drug rt-PA remains the most beneficial proven emergency therapy for strokes caused by blood clots, as per an editorial in the recent issue of Archives of Neurology by Dr. Jos Biller. "The benefits of therapy outweigh the risks in patients treated with intravenous rt-PA within 4.5 hours of symptom onset," Biller wrote. Biller is chairman of the Department of Neurology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and an internationally recognized expert on stroke care.

Medicineworld.org: Clot-busting drug in stroke patients

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