Intravenous thrombolysis in acute ischaemic stroke: Optimising its use in routine clinical practice

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

20 Scopus citations


Stroke is a common and important medical problem. Intravenous thrombolysis with alteplase (recombinant tissue plasminogen activator; rtPA) is the only available direct treatment that reduces neurological injury following ischaemic stroke. Strong efficacy data from randomised, controlled trials support the use of intravenous thrombolysis to improve outcomes for patients with acute ischaemic stroke. Numerous studies have provided effectiveness data that demonstrate that intravenous thrombolytic therapy can be given safely outside clinical trial settings. However, effectiveness studies have demonstrated that intravenous thrombolytic therapy is often given despite protocol violations when it is prescribed in routine clinical practice. Protocol violations must be avoided because they are associated with adverse events including higher mortality and increased haemorrhagic complications. Although thrombolytic therapy with alteplase is currently being used in only <10% of patients with acute ischaemic stroke, recent studies demonstrate that quality management efforts can improve both the absolute rate of use as well as the proficiency with which alteplase is administered. Given the complexities inherent in prescribing thrombolysis for patients with acute ischaemic stroke, alteplase should be used by clinicians who are experienced in the diagnosis and management of stroke, working in medical centres that have systems in place to ensure that alteplase is given without protocol violations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-302
Number of pages8
JournalCNS Drugs
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 11 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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