Effects of alteplase in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke
Department of Internal Medicine, Vinzentius Hospital, Landau, Germany
Background: For the last 15 years, alteplase (recombinant tissue plasminogen activator) has been used widely throughout the world for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. Although considered to be safe and effective, like all drugs, alteplase has side effects.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted in the intensive care unit of the department of internal medicine in a mid-size peripheral acute hospital in Germany. Patients with acute ischemic stroke who underwent alteplase-induced thrombolysis were investigated.
Results: Among the 1017 patients admitted for stroke investigation, 23 (2.26%) received thrombolytic therapy consisting of intravenous alteplase. Of these, six patients (26.09%) experienced complications, ie, four (17.39%) had intracerebral hemorrhage, one (4.35%) developed orolingual angioedema, and one (4.35%) had a hematoma on the right arm. After treatment with alteplase, two (33.33%) patients in the study group (n = 6) died because of intracerebral hemorrhage and one (16.67%) died because of aspiration pneumonia. One (5.88%) patient in the control group (n = 17) died of cerebral edema.
Conclusion: The incidence of stroke and number of patients treated with alteplase in the examined hospital subunit has not increased in recent years. Also, in this study, no statistically significant difference was found in the incidence of various complications occurring during treatment for acute ischemic stroke with alteplase, but intracerebral hemorrhage was the most common complication.
Keywords: alteplase, complications, acute ischemic stroke, safety, efficacy
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