What is the place of thrombolysis in acute stroke? A review of the literature and a current perspective

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The global burden of stroke, the undisputed success of intravenous thrombolysis in the management of myocardial infarction and subsequent evidence from animal models of cerebral infarction have all fuelled intense interest in the potential role for thrombolytic agents in the acute management of stroke in clinical practice. Before any clinical treatment is introduced universally its safety and efficacy must be demonstrated in the routine clinical environment and not just within the ideal conditions of controlled clinical trials. Similarly, the cost effectiveness of a new treatment modality is an essential consideration before its use is promulgated. This paper reviews the current scientific evidence for thrombolysis in stroke with reference to issues of safety, efficacy and cost effectiveness.

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