Author(s): Mori E
o determine the effect of intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) on vascular and neurologic outcomes, we enrolled 31 patients with acute carotid artery-territory ischemic stroke within 6 hours from symptom onset in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. We gave either rt-PA (duteplase at the dose of 20 or 30 mega-international units [MIU]) or placebo intravenously for 60 minutes in patients randomly assigned to the three groups. A comparison between the baseline and postinfusion angiograms showed that complete or partial reperfusion occurred in 50% (5/10) of patients treated with 30 MIU rt-PA, 44% (4/9) of those treated with 20 MIU rt-PA, and 17% (2/12) in the control group. In patients with middle cerebral artery occlusions, reperfusion occurred in 71% (5/7) of the 30-MIU group, in 67% (4/6) of the 20-MIU group, and in 13% (1/8) of the control group. Patients treated with 30 MIU rt-PA showed a significantly early and better clinical improvement, as measured by the neurologic scale, than did those treated with placebo. Parenchymal hemorrhage occurred in one patient in each group, and frequency of clinically insignificant hemorrhagic infarction was comparable among the treatment groups. No major systemic complications occurred in any group. These results support the efficacy of intravenous infusion of rt-PA soon after the onset of stroke in producing rapid thrombolysis and neurologic recovery; it may be of particular value in patients with thromboembolic occlusion in the middle cerebral artery.