Safety and efficacy of intravenous thrombolysis in acute ischemic stroke patients with a history of intracranial hemorrhage: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Clinical neurology and neurosurgery. 2022;215:107205
Acute ischemic stroke (AIS) is a fatal and debilitating condition killing 2.7 million people each year worldwide. The most commonly used treatment modality for AIS is intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) with alteplase which is indicated for those presenting within 4.5 h of onset. Due to a lack of reliable evidence on harm or benefit, the 2019 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) guidelines consider a history of previous intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) as potentially harmful and no longer an absolute contraindication for IVT in patients with AIS, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed chronic ICH as a specific contraindication for IVT from the label in 2015. Despite a shift in guidelines, physicians frequently face the dilemmatic choice whether to administer IVT in this subset of patients due to the risk of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (SICH). The benefit of IVT in such patients has not been thoroughly investigated, and there are only a few studies on the subject in the literature to date. We conducted the present meta-analysis in an aim to provide solid evidence on the efficacy and safety of IVT for treating AIS in patients with a history of remote ICH. Our meta-analysis found that IVT improves functional outcomes in AIS patients with prior remote ICH without increasing SICH or all-cause mortality. These findings may contribute to the decision-making process for IVT administration in AIS patients.