BACKGROUND: Guidelines recommend against the use of intravenous tPA (tissue-type plasminogen activator; IV tPA) in acute ischemic stroke patients with prior ischemic stroke within 3 months. However, there are limited data on the safety of IV tPA in this population. METHODS AND RESULTS: A retrospective observational study of patients ≥66 years of age linked to Medicare claims and treated with IV tPA at Get With The Guidelines–Stroke hospitals (February 2009 to December 2015). We identified 293 patients treated with IV tPA who had a prior ischemic stroke within 3 months and 30655 with no history of stroke. Patients with prior stroke had a higher stroke severity (median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, 11 [6–19] versus 11 [6–18]; absolute standardized difference, 11.2%) and a higher prevalence of cardiovascular comorbidities. Patients with prior stroke had a higher unadjusted risk for symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (7.7% versus 4.8%) and in-hospital mortality (12.6% versus 8.9%), but these differences were not statistically significant after adjustment. When stratified by prespecified time epochs, the elevated risk for symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage was seen only within the first 14 days (16.3% versus 4.8%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 3.7 [95% CI, 1.62–8.43]) but not in other epochs (2.1% versus 4.8%; aOR, 0.38 [95% CI, 0.05–2.79] for 15–30 days and 7.4% versus 4.8%; aOR, 1.36 [95% CI, 0.77–2.40] for 31–90 days). In addition, patients with prior stroke were significantly more likely to have a combined outcome of in-hospital mortality or discharge to hospice (25.9% versus 17.0%; aOR, 1.70 [95% CI, 1.21–2.38]), less likely to be discharged to home (28.3% versus 32.3%; aOR, 0.72 [95% CI, 0.54–0.98]), or to have good functional outcomes at discharge (modified Rankin Scale, 0–1; 11.3% versus 20.0%; aOR, 0.46 [95% CI, 0.24–0.89]). CONCLUSIONS: Stroke providers need to continue to be vigilant about the safety of IV tPA in patients with prior stroke, particularly those with an event in the previous 14 days.
- Thrombolytic therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine