Intravenous thrombolysis remains the mainstay treatment for acute ischemic stroke. One of the most feared complications of the treatment is thrombolysis-related symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH), which occurs in nearly 6% of patients and carries close to 50% mortality. The treatment options for sICH are based on small case series and expert opinion, and the efficacy of recommended treatments is not well known.
To provide an overview on the rationale and mechanism of action of potential treatments for sICH that may reverse the coagulopathy before hematoma expansion occurs.
Evidence-based peer-reviewed articles, including randomized trials, case series and reports, and retrospective reviews, were identified in a PubMed search on the mechanism of action of intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator and the rationale of various potential treatments using the coagulation cascade as a model. The search encompassed articles published from January 1, 1990, through February 28, 2014.
The current treatments may not be sufficient to reverse coagulopathy early enough to prevent hematoma expansion and improve the outcome of thrombolysis-related hemorrhage.
Conclusions and Relevance
Given the mechanism of action of intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator, clinical studies could include agents with a fast onset of action, such as prothrombin complex concentrate, recombinant factor VIIa, and ε-aminocaproic acid, as potential therapeutic options.