, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 75–83 | Cite as

Intra-arterial thrombolysis using rt-PA in patients with acute stroke due to vessel occlusion of anterior and/or posterior cerebral circulation

  • Argyro TountopoulouEmail author
  • Bjoern Ahl
  • Karin Weissenborn
  • Hartmut Becker
  • Friedrich Goetz
Interventional Neuroradiology



The aim of our study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of intra-arterial (IA) thrombolysis using recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) in patients with acute stroke due to occlusion in the anterior or posterior circulation.


We retrospectively analyzed the clinical and radiological data of 88 consecutive patients with acute ischemic stroke who underwent emergency cerebral angiography for the purpose of subsequent IA thrombolysis. The neurological deficit on admission and discharge was graded using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score. Baseline computer tomography (CT) scans were examined for any signs indicative of cerebral ischemia. The angiographic findings were classified according to the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) score for myocardial infarction. Follow-up CT scans were examined for hemorrhagic complication.


Of the 88 patients who underwent IA thrombolysis, 63 presented with complete or partial arterial occlusion in the suspected perfusion area. In these 63 patients, the median NIHSS score dropped from 15 points on admission to 10 points at discharge. The recanalization rate was 52.6% for partial and complete reperfusion. In-hospital mortality was 20.6% (9.1% for carotid, 44.4% for basilar territory occlusion). Intracerebral bleeding (ICB) occurred in 38.6% of the patients with occlusion in the anterior circulation, resulting in these patients presenting a worse clinical outcome than those without ICB. Only minor extracranial bleedings occurred in 20.6% of patients. Patients with ICB had a significantly higher frequency of ischemic signs on the baseline CT scan.


Occlusion of a cerebral artery is present in about 75% of the patients eligible for thrombolytic therapy. Intra-arterial thrombolysis using rt-PA in patients with acute ischemic stroke can achieve re-vascularization, although ICB remains the major risk factor affecting its efficacy.


Intra-arterial Stroke rt-PA Thrombolysis 


Conflict of interest statement

We declare that we have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Argyro Tountopoulou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bjoern Ahl
    • 1
  • Karin Weissenborn
    • 1
  • Hartmut Becker
    • 2
  • Friedrich Goetz
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Neurology and Clinical NeurophysiologyHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany
  2. 2.Department of NeuroradiologyHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany

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