Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) appears to be safe in the treatment of stroke detected when people wake up in the morning, according to a multicenter, prospective study presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2015.
Many patients with these “wake-up strokes” are not candidates for tPA because the treatment is only approved to be delivered within a three-hour window of stroke onset or time when last seen normal.
Researchers administered tPA to 40 moderate severity wake-up stroke patients with a broad range of stroke severities and disabling deficits. Patients received tPA an average of 2.6 hours after waking up with stroke symptoms.
Among treated patients:
- None of the patients treated had the most feared side effect that can occur with tPA: intracerebral hemorrhage, resulting in neurological worsening.
- Fifty percent of the stroke patients made full recoveries after their strokes, when followed-up at 90 days.
Treatment with tPA seems to be safe in wake-up stroke patients and should be studied in a larger trial for effectiveness, researchers said.