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Concept: Tissue plasminogen activator

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Background In patients with ischemic stroke, endovascular treatment results in a higher rate of recanalization of the affected cerebral artery than systemic intravenous thrombolytic therapy. However, comparison of the clinical efficacy of the two approaches is needed. Methods We randomly assigned 362 patients with acute ischemic stroke, within 4.5 hours after onset, to endovascular therapy (intraarterial thrombolysis with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator [t-PA], mechanical clot disruption or retrieval, or a combination of these approaches) or intravenous t-PA. Treatments were to be given as soon as possible after randomization. The primary outcome was survival free of disability (defined as a modified Rankin score of 0 or 1 on a scale of 0 to 6, with 0 indicating no symptoms, 1 no clinically significant disability despite symptoms, and 6 death) at 3 months. Results A total of 181 patients were assigned to receive endovascular therapy, and 181 intravenous t-PA. The median time from stroke onset to the start of treatment was 3.75 hours for endovascular therapy and 2.75 hours for intravenous t-PA (P<0.001). At 3 months, 55 patients in the endovascular-therapy group (30.4%) and 63 in the intravenous t-PA group (34.8%) were alive without disability (odds ratio adjusted for age, sex, stroke severity, and atrial fibrillation status at baseline, 0.71; 95% confidence interval, 0.44 to 1.14; P=0.16). Fatal or nonfatal symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage within 7 days occurred in 6% of the patients in each group, and there were no significant differences between groups in the rates of other serious adverse events or the case fatality rate. Conclusions The results of this trial in patients with acute ischemic stroke indicate that endovascular therapy is not superior to standard treatment with intravenous t-PA. (Funded by the Italian Medicines Agency, ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00640367 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Myocardial infarction, Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Pulmonary embolism, Tissue plasminogen activator, Thrombolysis, Plasmin

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Background Endovascular therapy is increasingly used after the administration of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) for patients with moderate-to-severe acute ischemic stroke, but whether a combined approach is more effective than intravenous t-PA alone is uncertain. Methods We randomly assigned eligible patients who had received intravenous t-PA within 3 hours after symptom onset to receive additional endovascular therapy or intravenous t-PA alone, in a 2:1 ratio. The primary outcome measure was a modified Rankin scale score of 2 or less (indicating functional independence) at 90 days (scores range from 0 to 6, with higher scores indicating greater disability). Results The study was stopped early because of futility after 656 participants had undergone randomization (434 patients to endovascular therapy and 222 to intravenous t-PA alone). The proportion of participants with a modified Rankin score of 2 or less at 90 days did not differ significantly according to treatment (40.8% with endovascular therapy and 38.7% with intravenous t-PA; absolute adjusted difference, 1.5 percentage points; 95% confidence interval [CI], -6.1 to 9.1, with adjustment for the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale [NIHSS] score [8-19, indicating moderately severe stroke, or ≥20, indicating severe stroke]), nor were there significant differences for the predefined subgroups of patients with an NIHSS score of 20 or higher (6.8 percentage points; 95% CI, -4.4 to 18.1) and those with a score of 19 or lower (-1.0 percentage point; 95% CI, -10.8 to 8.8). Findings in the endovascular-therapy and intravenous t-PA groups were similar for mortality at 90 days (19.1% and 21.6%, respectively; P=0.52) and the proportion of patients with symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage within 30 hours after initiation of t-PA (6.2% and 5.9%, respectively; P=0.83). Conclusions The trial showed similar safety outcomes and no significant difference in functional independence with endovascular therapy after intravenous t-PA, as compared with intravenous t-PA alone. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00359424 .).

Concepts: Stroke, Modified Rankin Scale, Disability, Tissue plasminogen activator, Thrombolysis, Plasmin, Barthel scale, Rehabilitation medicine

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Persicarin and isorhamnetin were isolated from Oenanthe javanica and their anticoagulant activities were examined by monitoring activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), prothrombin time (PT), and the activities of cell-based thrombin and activated factor X (FXa). In addition, the effects of persicarin and isorhamnetin on the expressions of plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) and tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) were tested in tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) activated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). The data obtained showed that persicarin and isorhamnetin both prolonged aPTT and PT significantly and inhibited the activities of thrombin and FXa. In addition, they both inhibited the generations of thrombin and FXa in HUVECs. In accordance with these anticoagulant activities, persicarin and isorhamnetin prolonged in vivo bleeding time and inhibited TNF-α induced PAI-1 production. Furthermore, PAI-1/t-PA ratio was significantly decreased by persicarin. Interestingly, the anticoagulant and profibrinolytic effects of persicarin were greater than those of isorhamnetin, which suggest that the sulfonate group of persicarin positively regulates its anticoagulatory function. Accordingly, our results suggest persicarin and isorhamnetin possess antithrombotic activities and that they could provide bases for the development of new anticoagulant agents.

Concepts: Coagulation, Fibrinolysis, Warfarin, Tissue plasminogen activator, Blood tests, Thrombin, Prothrombin time, Partial thromboplastin time

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Intravenous thrombolysis with tissue plasminogen activator is standard treatment in acute stroke today. The benefit of endovascular treatment has been questioned. Recently, studies evaluating endovascular treatment and intravenous thrombolysis compared with intravenous thrombolysis alone, have reported improved outcome for the intervention group. The aim of this study was to perform a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials comparing endovascular treatment in addition to intravenous thrombolysis with intravenous thrombolysis alone.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Randomized controlled trial, Stroke, Thrombosis, Pulmonary embolism, Tissue plasminogen activator, Thrombolysis, Plasmin

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We aimed to develop a tool, the hemorrhagic transformation (HT) index (HTI), to predict any HT within 14 days after middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke onset regardless of the intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (IV rtPA) use. That is especially important in the light of missing evidence-based data concerning the timing of anticoagulant resumption after stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).

Concepts: Blood, Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Transient ischemic attack, Middle cerebral artery, Tissue plasminogen activator, Thrombolysis, Plasmin

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Background Among patients with acute ischemic stroke due to occlusions in the proximal anterior intracranial circulation, less than 40% regain functional independence when treated with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) alone. Thrombectomy with the use of a stent retriever, in addition to intravenous t-PA, increases reperfusion rates and may improve long-term functional outcome. Methods We randomly assigned eligible patients with stroke who were receiving or had received intravenous t-PA to continue with t-PA alone (control group) or to undergo endovascular thrombectomy with the use of a stent retriever within 6 hours after symptom onset (intervention group). Patients had confirmed occlusions in the proximal anterior intracranial circulation and an absence of large ischemic-core lesions. The primary outcome was the severity of global disability at 90 days, as assessed by means of the modified Rankin scale (with scores ranging from 0 [no symptoms] to 6 [death]). Results The study was stopped early because of efficacy. At 39 centers, 196 patients underwent randomization (98 patients in each group). In the intervention group, the median time from qualifying imaging to groin puncture was 57 minutes, and the rate of substantial reperfusion at the end of the procedure was 88%. Thrombectomy with the stent retriever plus intravenous t-PA reduced disability at 90 days over the entire range of scores on the modified Rankin scale (P<0.001). The rate of functional independence (modified Rankin scale score, 0 to 2) was higher in the intervention group than in the control group (60% vs. 35%, P<0.001). There were no significant between-group differences in 90-day mortality (9% vs. 12%, P=0.50) or symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (0% vs. 3%, P=0.12). Conclusions In patients receiving intravenous t-PA for acute ischemic stroke due to occlusions in the proximal anterior intracranial circulation, thrombectomy with a stent retriever within 6 hours after onset improved functional outcomes at 90 days. (Funded by Covidien; SWIFT PRIME ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01657461 .).

Concepts: Stroke, Modified Rankin Scale, Disability, Tissue plasminogen activator, Thrombolysis, Plasmin

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Recently, 5 randomized controlled trials demonstrated the benefit of endovascular therapy compared with intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator in acute stroke. Economic evidence evaluating stent retrievers is limited. We compared the cost-effectiveness of intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator alone versus mechanical thrombectomy and intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator as a bridging therapy in eligible patients in the UK National Health Service.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Medicine, Randomized controlled trial, Stroke, Tissue plasminogen activator

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Multiple sclerosis is among the most common causes of neurological disability in young adults. Here we provide the preclinical proof of concept of the benefit of a novel strategy of treatment for multiple sclerosis targeting neuroendothelial N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptors. We designed a monoclonal antibody against N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors, which targets a regulatory site of the GluN1 subunit of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor sensitive to the protease tissue plasminogen activator. This antibody reverted the effect of tissue plasminogen activator on N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor function without affecting basal N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activity (n = 21, P < 0.01). This antibody bound N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors on the luminal surface of neurovascular endothelium in human tissues and in mouse, at the vicinity of tight junctions of the blood-spinal cord barrier. Noteworthy, it reduced human leucocyte transmigration in an in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier (n = 12, P < 0.05). When injected during the effector phase of MOG-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (n = 24), it blocked the progression of neurological impairments, reducing cumulative clinical score (P < 0.001) and mean peak score (P < 0.001). This effect was observed in wild-type animals but not in tissue plasminogen activator knock-out animals (n = 10). This therapeutic effect was associated to a preservation of the blood-spinal cord barrier (n = 6, P < 0.001), leading to reduced leucocyte infiltration (n = 6, P < 0.001). Overall, this study unveils a critical function of endothelial N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor in multiple sclerosis, and highlights the therapeutic potential of strategies targeting the protease-regulated site of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor.

Concepts: Immune system, Protein, Multiple sclerosis, Neurology, NMDA receptor, Tissue plasminogen activator, Plasmin, Ligand-gated ion channel

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Intravenous thrombolysis remains the mainstay treatment for acute ischemic stroke. One of the most feared complications of the treatment is thrombolysis-related symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH), which occurs in nearly 6% of patients and carries close to 50% mortality. The treatment options for sICH are based on small case series and expert opinion, and the efficacy of recommended treatments is not well known.

Concepts: Stroke, Thrombosis, Pulmonary embolism, Cerebral hemorrhage, Tissue plasminogen activator, Thrombolysis, Plasmin

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BACKGROUND: Lacunar infarcts constitute up to 25% of all ischaemic strokes. As acute intracranial vascular imaging has become widely available with computed tomographic angiography, thrombolysis of lacunar strokes has become contentious because an intracranial vascular lesion cannot be visualized. We studied the effect of thrombolysis on lacunar strokes compared to other clinical ischaemic stroke sub-types. METHODS: Ischaemic stroke patients from phase 3 of the Registry of the Canadian Stroke Network data (July 2003-March 2008) were included. Lacunar stroke was defined as a lacunar syndrome supported by computed tomography brain showing a subcortical hypodense lesion with a diameter <20 mm. Clinical syndromes were used to define other stroke sub-types. The outcomes were mortality at 90 days, modified Rankin Scale score 0-2 at discharge, occurrence of intracranial haemorrhage as a complication of stroke in-hospital, and discharge disposition to home. RESULTS: A total of 11 503 patients of ischaemic stroke were included from the Registry of the Canadian Stroke Network 3 between July 2003 and March 2008. Lacunar strokes formed 19·1% of the total strokes. The total number of patients who received tissue plasminogen activator was 1630 (14·2%). A significant association was found between tissue plasminogen activator treatment and outcomes after controlling Oxfordshire Community Stroke Project types - for modified Rankin Scale at discharge and discharge to home, but not for mortality. A thrombolysis-by-Oxfordshire Community Stroke Project stroke sub-type interaction was observed due to lack of benefit among the posterior circulation stroke sub-types. Patients with lacunar strokes, partial anterior circulation stroke, and total anterior circulation strokes all benefited approximately equally from thrombolysis. CONCLUSIONS: Thrombolysis is associated with clinically improved outcome among patients with lacunar stroke syndromes.

Concepts: Blood, Stroke, Pulmonary embolism, Modified Rankin Scale, Tissue plasminogen activator, Thrombolysis, Plasmin, Lacunar stroke