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Stroke. 2010 Jan;41(1):72-7. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.109.563767. Epub 2009 Nov 19.

Postthrombolysis blood pressure elevation is associated with hemorrhagic transformation.

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2E3 WMC Health Sciences Centre, University of Alberta, 8440 112th St, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G2B7.



Reliable predictors of hemorrhagic transformation (HT) after stroke thrombolysis have not been identified. We analyzed hemorrhage in a randomized trial of tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) vs placebo in ischemic stroke patients. We hypothesized that acute diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) lesion volumes would be larger and blood pressures would be higher in patients with HT.


HT was assessed 2 to 5 days after treatment in 97 patients. Hemorrhage was assessed by using susceptibility-weighted imaging sequences and was classified as petechial hemorrhagic infarction (HI) or parenchymal hematoma (PH).


PH was more frequent in t-PA- (11/49) than in placebo- (4/48) treated patients (P=0.049). Patients with PH had larger DWI lesion volumes (63.1+/-56.1 mL) than did those without HT (27.6+/-39.0 mL, P=0.033). There were no differences in baseline systolic blood pressure (SBP) between patients with and without hemorrhage. Weighted average SBP 24 hours after treatment was higher in patients with PH (159.4+/-18.8 mL, P<0.011) relative to those without HT (143.1+/-20.0 mL). Multinomial logistic regression indicated that PH was predicted by DWI lesion volume (odds ratio=1.16 per 10 mL; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.30), atrial fibrillation (odds ratio=9.33; 95% CI, 2.30 to 37.94), and 24-hour weighted average SBP (odds ratio=1.59 per 10 mm Hg; 95% CI, 1.14 to 2.23).


Pretreatment DWI lesion volume and postthrombolysis BP are both predictive of HT. Consideration should be given to excluding patients with very large baseline DWI volumes from t-PA therapy and to more stringent BP control after stroke thrombolysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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