Intra-arterial thrombolysis in acute ischaemic stroke

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Several thrombolytic agents for the treatment of acute ischaemic stroke have been examined; however, to date, only the i.v. administration of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator is licensed in Australia. Although no trials directly comparing intra-arterial and i.v. delivery of thrombolytics exist, intra-arterial thrombolysis has several potential advantages, including angiographic assessment of the thrombus and the site of occlusion and collateral circulation, improved recanalization, and delivery of higher local concentrations of thrombolytic agents and extending the therapeutic time window for treatment. We conducted a retrospective audit of our experience with the use of intra-arterial urokinase to treat acute ischaemic stroke at an Australian tertiary-care hospital between June 1993 and June 2003. We examined time from stroke onset to assessment, computerized tomography scan, cerebral angiography and thrombolysis, anatomical classification of intra-arterial thrombus, rates of symptomatic intracerebral haemorrhage, and clinical outcome at 3 months. We believe that in carefully selected individuals in appropriate centres of expertise, intra-arterial thrombolytic therapy holds great promise. (Intern Med J 2005; 35: 300–302)

Keywords: intra-arterial thrombolysis; stroke; thrombolysis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Neurology 2: Radiology, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Publication date: May 1, 2005

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