Tuesday, December 07, 2010

No age barrier to thrombolysis in stroke?

This blog references a lot of stories about the under-50 (or even 40!) folks who have had strokes. But a reverse story, from Glasgow, Scotland, was published not long ago, based on a study for older patients treated with clotbusters for stroke:
Patients over age 80 with acute ischemic stroke fare better when treated with intravenous thrombolytic therapy than when left untreated, a new analysis shows. They derive benefits from thrombolytic therapy similar to younger patients, are not at significantly greater risk for intracranial bleeding, and, therefore, should not be denied this treatment based on age alone, investigators conclude. ...

"For most stroke physicians, the findings will confirm their suspicions and reinforce their practice," senior study investigator Dr Kennedy R Lees (University of Glasgow, Scotland) noted. "The unfortunate truth is that many older patients will have missed an opportunity for treatment and are now living with the consequences, if they even survived. We hope that now age will not be a barrier to treatment."
More important than ever for all stroke patients - young or old - to get to a stroke center as soon as possible.

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