- •The likelihood of disability is known to increase with each recurrent stroke.
- •IV re-thrombolysis is exceptionally reported after recurrent stroke.
- •IV re-thrombolysis may be safe and effective after recurrent stroke.
- •Our review can serve as an approximate guide for clinicians.
The likelihood of severe disability and death increases with each recurrent stroke. Repeated intravenous (IV) thrombolysis remains one of the therapeutic options when secondary prevention fails; however, its effects after recurrent stroke are largely unknown.
The aim of the present review was to assess the risks and benefits of IV re-thrombolysis after recurrent stroke as compared with IV thrombolysis after index stroke.
We identified 8 patients who repeated IV thrombolysis after recurrent stroke from among the 615 consecutive stroke patients who received IV thrombolysis at our Stroke Unit and 22 cases of IV re-thrombolysed patients extracted for the literature review of case reports and case series.
After excluding the 6 patients treated with endovascular procedures, we included in the analyses 21 patients for which we had data on pre-stroke functional status and baseline neurological severity for each stroke event and post-treatment functional status for each IV thrombolysis. We compared second (n = 21) and third (n = 3) IV thrombolytic treatments with first IV thrombolytic treatments (n = 21). Also, we compared IV thrombolytic re-treatments ≤3 months from previous IV thrombolysis (n = 10) with those >3 months (n = 14). No significant differences in the rate of intracranial hemorrhage with neurological deterioration, mortality and restitution of the pre-existing functional status were observed in the comparative analyses.
IV re-thrombolysis may be safe and effective when recurrent stroke occurs after a period of complete neurologic regression lasting at least 24 h or minor disability (mRS score ≤2) lasting at least 3 months since the previous stroke.
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Published online: July 23, 2014
Accepted: July 16, 2014
Received in revised form: June 23, 2014
Received: March 22, 2014
© 2014 Elsevier B.V. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.