Effectiveness of alteplase in the very elderly after acute ischemic stroke
Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital of Saarland, Homburg/Saar, Germany
Abstract: Alteplase has traditionally been the only pharmacologic agent available for treating acute ischemic stroke worldwide, and is considered an effective and safe therapeutic drug for acute cerebral ischemia. However, the drug is usually indicated for use in patients aged <81 years due to insufficient literature regarding the drug's safety in older individuals. Nevertheless, the elderly can benefit from alteplase after they experience an acute ischemic stroke. Age differences have been observed in the clinical presentation of acute ischemic stroke; however, the safety and efficacy of alteplase for patients with acute ischemic stroke do not depend on age or sex. Evidence of an increasing rate of intracerebral hemorrhage among the elderly with acute ischemic stroke, following alteplase treatment, has not been reported. Severe intracranial hemorrhage is a known side effect of alteplase but is not associated with age in patients with acute ischemic stroke. Alteplase can be used safely and effectively to treat elderly patients who suffer an acute ischemic stroke, including those over the age of 80 years.
Keywords: tissue-plasminogen activator, old age, safety, tolerability, intracerebral hemorrhage
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