Study opens way for later treatment of acute stroke

September 15, 2008

The time span in which treatment should be given for acute ischaemic stroke – i.e. stroke caused by a clot or other obstruction to the blood supply – can be lengthened. This according to a study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet, the results of which can bring about more effective and safer treatments for stroke sufferers.

In the event of acute ischemic stroke, treatment with 'clot-busting' drugs – thrombolysis – should be administered as early as possible. Failure to do so might leave the treatment doing harm than good since it increases the danger of haemorrhage. Prevailing praxis is for thrombolysis to be given only to patients who reach hospital within three hours after the onset of stroke.

However, an international study led by Professor Nils Wahlgren at Karolinska Institutet now shows that it is safe to administer the treatment up to four and a half hours after the stroke.

The researchers compared 11,865 patients treated within three hours of stroke with 644 patients who, for various reasons, were treated within three to four and a half hours afterwards. The results show that the risk of haemorrhage complications and death was not significantly higher for the later treatment. Nor was there any difference between the two groups in the percentage of patients displaying impaired functionality in everyday activities three months after stroke.

"The data we are now publishing will make it possible for many more patients to receive thrombolysis," says Professor Wahlgren. "This is important, because it'll not only alleviate their suffering, but also help to reduce the costs of stroke for society."

Possible changes to the European guidelines for the treatment of stroke will be under discussion at Karolinska Stroke Update, a conference due to be held in Stockholm on 16-18 November. Here, consideration will also be taken of the results of another, as yet unpublished, randomised study co-led by Professor Wahlgren.

Source: Karolinska Institutet

Explore further: New method could detect blood clots anywhere in the body with a single scan

Related Stories

X-ray study may aid in designing better blood pressure drugs

April 23, 2015

An experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has revealed in atomic detail how a hypertension drug binds to a cellular receptor that plays a key role in regulating blood pressure. The results ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.