Streptokinase in acute stroke: Effect on reperfusion and recanalization

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Article abstract

The Australian Streptokinase Trial was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, in which streptokinase (SK, 1.5 million IU IV) was given within 4 hours of stroke onset. In a subset of 37 patients,99m Tc-labeled D,L-hexamethylpropylene amine oxime single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and/or transcranial Doppler (TCD) studies were performed before and after therapy to test the hypothesis that SK may improve the hemodynamic measures of reperfusion/recanalization rates(TCD parameter) within 24 hours. Eighteen patients received SK and 19 placebo. Baseline characteristics were similar in both groups, and there were no differences in clinical outcomes assessed at 3 months after stroke. Although there was no increase in the group mean perfusion defect or volume on SPECT after thrombolytic therapy, a larger number of patients demonstrating the combined end point of reperfusion or recanalization was seen in the SK group (13/14, 93%) than in the placebo group (7/14, 50%;p = 0.01). Although SK given within 4 hours of acute ischemic stroke appears to improve arterial patency/tissue reperfusion, this effect is neither early nor extensive enough to influence overall clinical outcome.

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