Safety of intravenous alteplase within 4.5 hours for patients awakening with stroke symptoms

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Background Up to 25% of acute stroke patients first note symptoms upon awakening. We hypothesized that patients awaking with stroke symptoms may be safely treated with intravenous alteplase (IV tPA) using non-contrast head CT (NCHCT), if they meet all other standard criteria. Methods The SAfety of Intravenous thromboLytics in stroke ON awakening (SAIL ON) was a prospective, open-label, single treatment arm, pilot safety trial of standard dose IV tPA in patients who presented with stroke symptoms within 0–4.5 hours of awakening. From January 30, 2013, to September 1, 2015, twenty consecutive wakeup stroke patients selected by NCHCT were enrolled. The primary outcome was symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH) in the first 36 hours. Secondary outcomes included NIH stroke scale (NIHSS) at 24 hours; and modified Rankin Score (mRS), NIHSS, and Barthel index at 90 days. Results The average age was 65 years (range 47–83); 40% were women; 50% were African American. The average NIHSS was 6 (range 4–11). The average time from wake-up to IV tPA was 205 minutes (range 114–270). The average time from last known well to IV tPA was 580 minutes (range 353–876). The median mRS at 90 days was 1 (range 0–5). No patients had sICH; two of 20 (10%) had asymptomatic ICH on routine post IV tPA brain imaging. Conclusions Administration of IV tPA was feasible and may be safe in wakeup stroke patients presenting within 4.5 hours from awakening, screened with NCHCT. An adequately powered randomized clinical trial is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0197714
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018

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