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Thrombolytic Therapy in Acute Ischemic Stroke - Basic Concepts

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Thrombolytic therapy with alteplase in acute ischemic stroke is currently established within 3 h from symptom onset in carefully selected patients. Expansion of the time window is being assessed in trials with alteplase and desmoteplase. Also, tenecteplase, reteplase and staphylokinase are being evaluated in stroke patients. A better understanding of the coagulation and fibrinolytic systems may provide insight into drug development, interactions, complications, and may ultimately improve patient triage and treatment regimens. Future adjuvant and additional therapies could prove useful for patients who do not benefit from standard thrombolytic treatment or may augment the overall gain.

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Keywords: Thrombolytic therapy; cerebral infarction; hemorrhage; recanalization; stroke; t-PA; thrombolysis; thrombosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Neurology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, P.O. Box 340, 00029 HUCH, Finland;

Publication date: January 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Vascular disease is the commonest cause of death in Westernized countries and its incidence is on the increase in developing countries. It follows that considerable research is directed at establishing effective treatment for acute vascular events. Long-term treatment has also received considerable attention (e.g. for symptomatic relief). Furthermore, effective prevention, whether primary or secondary, is backed by the findings of several landmark trials.

    Vascular disease is a complex field with primary care physicians and nurse practitioners as well as several specialties involved. The latter include cardiology, vascular and cardio thoracic surgery, general medicine, radiology, clinical pharmacology and neurology (stroke units). Current Vascular Pharmacology will publish reviews to update all those concerned with the treatment of vascular disease. For example, reviews commenting on recently published trials or new drugs will be included. In addition to clinically relevant topics we will consider 'research-based' reviews dealing with future developments and potential drug targets. Therefore, another function of Current Vascular Pharmacology is to bridge the gap between clinical practice and ongoing research.

    Debates will also be encouraged in the correspondence section of this journal.
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