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Stroke. 2005 Mar;36(3):607-12. Epub 2005 Feb 3.

A pilot dose-escalation safety study of tenecteplase in acute ischemic stroke.

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Department of Neurology, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Va, USA.



Recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rtPA) is the only approved treatment in acute ischemic stroke. However, intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) occurs in 6.4% of patients treated with rtPA and limits its use. Tenecteplase (TNK) is a modified form of rtPA, with longer half-life and greater fibrin specificity. Patients after myocardial infarction had fewer systemic hemorrhages when treated with TNK compared with rtPA. This open-label, dose-escalation safety study was conducted to develop initial experience with TNK in the treatment of ischemic stroke.


Eligible patients were treated with an intravenous bolus infusion of TNK within 3 hours of stroke onset. The dose escalation was conducted in tiers of 25 patients, starting at 0.1 mg/kg, to a planned maximum of 0.6 mg/kg. The primary endpoint was symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage within 36 hours of treatment. All patients were followed-up for 3 months.


Eighty-eight (88) patients were treated in 4 dosing tiers. In the first 3 tiers (0.1, 0.2, 0.4 mg/kg) of 25 patients each, no symptomatic and 2 (8%), 8 (32%), and 7 (28%) asymptomatic ICHs occurred. Enrollment into the fourth tier at 0.5 mg/kg was closed after 2 of 13 patients (15%) had symptomatic and 3 (23%) had asymptomatic ICHs. Overall, modified Rankin scores at 3 months were similar to those of historical controls treated with rtPA and not significantly different between treatment groups.


TNK doses of 0.1 to 0.4 mg/kg are safe in ischemic stroke. Future trials are needed to compare the effect of TNK on neurological outcome and safety as compared with rtPA.

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