Background: Rapid restoration of cerebral blood flow is the principle goal of acute ischemic stroke therapy. Intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator is an effective therapy for acute ischemic stroke. It has been available in the United States for over a decade and was approved for use in Israel at the end of 2004. Objectives: To assess the implementation of intravenous rt-PA in routine clinical care at our center after its formal approval in Israel, and the therapeutic and logistic implications for reperfusion therapy for acute ischemic stroke in Israel. Methods: Patients with acute ischemic stroke admitted between January 2005 and June 2006 who were treated with intravenous rt-PA or endovascular-based reperfusion were reviewed. Implementation, timing, safety and clinical outcomes were assessed. Results: Forty-six patients received reperfusion therapy (37 with intravenous rt-PA and 9 with endovascular-based therapy), corresponding to 4.0% of ischemic stroke patients in 2005 and a projection of 6.2% in 2006. The mean age of intravenously treated patients was 67 years (range 22-85 years), median baseline NIHSS score was 14 (25-75%, 10-18) and the median 'onset to drug time' was 150 minutes (25-75%, 120-178). Symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage and orolingual angioedema each occurred in one patient (2.7%). Significant clinical improvement occurred in 54% of treated patients, and 38% of patients were independent at hospital discharge. Conclusions: The use of reperfusion therapy for acute ischemic stroke has increased in our center after the formal approval of rt-PA therapy to over 5%, with 'onset to drug time', safety and outcome after intravenous rt-PA treatment comparing favorably with worldwide experience. A prerequisite for the implementation of effective reperfusion therapy and expansion of the proportion of patients treated nationwide is the establishment of a comprehensive infrastructure.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Israel Medical Association Journal|
|State||Published - Nov 2006|