Int J Stroke 2019 Apr 4:1747493019840938. Epub 2019 Apr 4.
16 Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.
Background: Intravenous thrombolysis with alteplase within a time window up to 4.5 h is the only approved pharmacological treatment for acute ischemic stroke. We studied whether acute ischemic stroke patients with penumbral tissue identified on magnetic resonance imaging 4.5-9 h after symptom onset benefit from intravenous thrombolysis compared to placebo.
Methods: Acute ischemic stroke patients with salvageable brain tissue identified on a magnetic resonance imaging were randomly assigned to receive standard dose alteplase or placebo. The primary end point was disability at 90 days assessed by the modified Rankin scale, which has a range of 0-6 (with 0 indicating no symptoms at all and 6 indicating death). Safety end points included death, symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage, and other serious adverse events.
Results: The trial was stopped early for slow recruitment after the enrollment of 119 (61 alteplase, 58 placebo) of 264 patients planned. Median time to intravenous thrombolysis was 7 h 42 min. The primary endpoint showed no significant difference in the modified Rankin scale distribution at day 90 (odds ratio alteplase versus placebo, 1.20; 95% CI, 0.63-2.27, P = 0.58). One symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage occurred in the alteplase group. Mortality at 90 days did not differ significantly between the two groups (11.5 and 6.8%, respectively; P = 0.53).
Conclusions: Intravenous alteplase administered between 4.5 and 9 h after the onset of symptoms in patients with salvageable tissue did not result in a significant benefit over placebo. (Supported by Boehringer Ingelheim, Germany; ISRCTN 71616222).