Abstract 2779: The Safety of Intravenous Thrombolysis for Ischemic Stroke in Patients With Pre-Existing Cerebral Aneurysms: A Retrospective, Hospital-Based Study
Background and Purpose: Unruptured cerebral aneurysms are currently considered a contraindication to intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV tPA) for acute ischemic stroke. This is due to a theoretical increase in the risk of hemorrhage from aneurysm rupture, although it is unknown whether this risk is significant. We sought to determine the safety of IV tPA administration in a cohort of patients with pre-existing aneurysms.
Methods: We reviewed the medical records of patients treated for acute ischemic stroke with IV tPA during an 11-year period at two academic medical centers. We identified a subset of patients with unruptured cerebral aneurysms present on pre-thrombolysis vascular imaging. Our outcomes of interest were any intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), symptomatic ICH, and subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Fisher’s exact test was used to compare the rates of hemorrhage among patients with and without aneurysms.
Results: We identified 236 eligible patients, of whom 22 had unruptured cerebral aneurysms. The rate of ICH among patients with aneurysms (14%, 95% CI 3-35%) did not significantly differ from the rate among patients without aneurysms (19%, 95% CI 14-25%). None of the patients with aneurysms developed symptomatic ICH (0%, 95% CI 0-15%), compared with 10 of 214 patients without aneurysms (5%, 95% CI 2-8%). Similar proportions of patients developed SAH (5%, 95% CI 0-23% versus 6%, 95% CI 3-10%).
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that IV tPA for acute ischemic stroke is safe to administer in patients with pre-existing cerebral aneurysms as the risk of aneurysm rupture and symptomatic ICH is low.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.