Shorter Intensive Care Unit Stays?
The Majority of Post-Intravenous tPA (Tissue-Type Plasminogen Activator) Symptomatic Hemorrhages Occur Within 12 Hours of Treatment
Background and Purpose—Symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (sICH) is a life-threatening complication after treatment with intravenous tPA (tissue-type plasminogen activator) for acute stroke. Currently, patients are monitored for sICH in a neurocritical care unit or intensive care unit-like setting for 24 hours post-treatment—a costly and resource intensive practice. Because the half-life of tPA is much shorter than 24 hours, it is possible that the majority of patients do not require such intensive monitoring. In this study, we evaluate the time period of the highest risk for sICH post-tPA.
Methods—All patients receiving intravenous tPA for acute stroke between 2004 and 2017 at our institution were prospectively followed for sICH for 36 hours after treatment. The mean time from tPA administration to hemorrhage was calculated. Additional data were collected regarding: patient demographics, medical variables, and stroke characteristics. Variables significant in univariate analysis were entered into multivariable logistic regression models to determine factors associated with symptomatic hemorrhage.
Results—Three hundred eighty-five patients were administered intravenous tPA. Twenty-one (5.5%) developed sICH. The mean time from administration to hemorrhage was 8.5 hours. Greater than 80% of sICHs occurred before 12 hours post-treatment. The only variable significantly associated with sICH was combination therapy (intravenous tPA and intra-arterial thrombectomy).
Conclusions—sICH associated with the administration of intravenous tPA typically occurs within the first 12 hours of treatment. Longer monitoring in an intensive care unit-like setting may be unnecessary for most individuals.
- Received January 27, 2018.
- Revision received March 15, 2018.
- Accepted March 22, 2018.
- © 2018 American Heart Association, Inc.