Evaluation of Risk of Hemorrhagic Transformation in Local Intra-arterial Thrombolysis in Acute Ischemic Stroke by Initial SPECT

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Abstract

Background and Purpose

Thrombolytic therapy was carried out on patients with acute ischemic stroke, and the risk of hemorrhagic transformation was evaluated from the residual cerebral blood flow (CBF) by pretherapeutic single-photon emission-computed tomography (SPECT).

Methods

Local intra-arterial thrombolytic therapy was carried out using urokinase or recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) within 6 hours from the onset in 34 patients in whom no hypodensity areas were observed on the initial computed tomography examination. In the 20 patients with carotid territory occlusion who underwent 99mTc-labeled hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime (99mTc-HMPAO) SPECT, the residual CBF of the ischemic region was evaluated semiquan-titatively by calculating two parameters: the ischemic regional activity to cerebellar activity ratio (R/CE ratio) and asymmetry index (AI).

Results

The occluded vessels could be recanalized in 22 (92%) of the 24 patients in the urokinase group and in all 10 of the patients in the rt-PA group. Hemorrhagic transformation appeared in 4 patients in the urokinase group and 3 patients in the rt-PA group. Among the 20 patients who underwent SPECT before the treatment, the residual CBF was lower in the 5 patients who developed hemorrhagic transformation than in the 15 who did not (P<.05). Hemorrhagic transformation occurred in all patients with R/CE ratio of less than 0.35 and AI of more than 1.5.

Conclusions

The risk of hemorrhagic transformation after recanalization of occluded vessels by local intra-arterial thrombolytic therapy was considered to be high when the pretherapeutic residual CBF was markedly reduced. (Stroke. 1994;5:298-303.)

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