The Lancet Neurology: May 31, 2013.
Systemic thrombolysis with alteplase is the only approved medical treatment for patients with acute ischaemic stroke. Thrombectomy is also increasingly used to treat proximal occlusions of the cerebral arteries, but has not shown superiority over systemic thrombolysis with alteplase. Many patients with acute ischaemic stroke are pretreated with antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs, which can increase the bleeding risk of thrombolysis or thrombectomy. Pretreatment with aspirin monotherapy increases the bleeding risk of alteplase in both observational and randomised trials with no effect on clinical outcome, and the risk of intracerebral haemorrhage is increased with the combination of aspirin and clopidogrel. Antiplatelet drugs should not be given in the first 24 h after alteplase treatment. Data from pooled randomised trials and a large observational study show that thrombolysis can probably be done safely in patients given vitamin-K antagonists if the international normalised ratio is less than 1·7, although bleeding risk is slightly raised. Read More