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Stroke. 2011 Nov;42(11):3009-16. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.610949. Epub 2011 Aug 25.

Low-dose recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator enhances clot resolution in brain hemorrhage: the intraventricular hemorrhage thrombolysis trial.

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Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute, Department of Neurology, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, MD, USA.



Patients with intracerebral hemorrhage and intraventricular hemorrhage have a reported mortality of 50% to 80%. We evaluated a clot lytic treatment strategy for these patients in terms of mortality, ventricular infection, and bleeding safety events, and for its effect on the rate of intraventricular clot lysis.


Forty-eight patients were enrolled at 14 centers and randomized to treatment with 3 mg recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator (rtPA) or placebo. Demographic characteristics, severity factors, safety outcomes (mortality, infection, bleeding), and clot resolution rates were compared in the 2 groups.


Severity factors, including admission Glasgow Coma Scale, intracerebral hemorrhage volume, intraventricular hemorrhage volume, and blood pressure were evenly distributed, as were adverse events, except for an increased frequency of respiratory system events in the placebo-treated group. Neither intracranial pressure nor cerebral perfusion pressure differed substantially between treatment groups on presentation, with external ventricular device closure, or during the active treatment phase. Frequency of death and ventriculitis was substantially lower than expected and bleeding events remained below the prespecified threshold for mortality (18% rtPA; 23% placebo), ventriculitis (8% rtPA; 9% placebo), symptomatic bleeding (23% rtPA; 5% placebo, which approached statistical significance; P=0.1). The median duration of dosing was 7.5 days for rtPA and 12 days for placebo. There was a significant beneficial effect of rtPA on rate of clot resolution.


Low-dose rtPA for the treatment of intracerebral hemorrhage with intraventricular hemorrhage has an acceptable safety profile compared to placebo and historical controls. Data from a well-designed phase III clinical trial, such as CLEAR III, will be needed to fully evaluate this treatment.

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