Monday, September 15, 2008

Clot buster may be given later for strokes: study

From CBC News:
Stroke patients can safely be given a clot dissolving drug within 4.5 hours, an extension of the conventional three-hour window, a European study suggests. The longer timeframe may help patients who can't reach a hospital quickly to access specialist care.

An ischemic stroke occurs when a clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain and cuts off circulation, potentially causing death or permanent disability. Doctors give a drug called tissue plasminogen activator or tPA by intravenous to dissolve clogs lodged in the brain to treat the most common type of stroke.

Treatment guidelines in Canada, the U.S. and Europe set a three-hour time limit for giving tPA because of fears that it may cause dangerous bleeding or other complications.

Given safety concerns, European regulators requested further observational studies and a randomized clinical trial on tPA, also called alteplase.

In Monday's online issue of the medical journal The Lancet, Prof. Nils Wahlgren of the department of clinical neurosciences at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm and his colleagues reported no significant differences between subjects who were given the drug after three hours compared to four hours. ..more

No comments: