Use and Outcomes of Intravenous Thrombolysis for Acute Ischemic Stroke in Patients ≥90 Years of Age

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Background and Purpose—

Intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) is a proven treatment for acute ischemic stroke, but there has been limited evaluation among patients aged ≥90 years.


We analyzed data from the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke national quality improvement registry from January 2009 to April 2013. Frequency, determinants, and outcomes of tPA use were compared among patients aged ≥90 and 3 younger age groups (18–64, 65–79, and 80–89 years).


Among 35 708 patients from 1178 sites who arrived within 2 hours of time last known well and received tPA, 2585 (7.2%) were ≥90 years. Compared with younger patients, the rate of tPA use among patients without a documented contraindication was lower among patients aged ≥90 years (67.4% versus 84.1% in 18–89-year olds; P<0.0001). Discharge outcomes among individuals aged ≥90 years included discharge to home or acute rehabilitation in 31.4%, independent ambulation at discharge in 13.4%, symptomatic hemorrhage in 6.1%, and in-hospital mortality or hospice discharge in 36.4%. On multivariable analysis, good functional outcomes generally occurred less often and mortality more often among patients aged ≥90 years. The risk of symptomatic hemorrhage was increased compared with patients <65 years but was not significantly different than the risk in 66- to 89-year olds.


The use of intravenous tPA among those aged ≥90 years is lower than in younger patients. When fibrinolytic therapy is used, the risk of symptomatic hemorrhage is not higher than in 66- to 89-year olds; however, mortality is higher and functional outcomes are lower.

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