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Telemed J E Health. 2018 Oct;24(10):749-752. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2017.0248. Epub 2018 Jan 25.

Rate of Symptomatic Intracerebral Hemorrhage Related to Intravenous tPA Administered Over Telestroke Within 4.5-Hour Window.

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1 Department of Neurology, Medical University of South Carolina , Charleston, South Carolina.
2 Department of Healthcare Leadership and Management, College of Health Professions, Medical University of South Carolina , Charleston, South Carolina.



Intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) remains the cornerstone medical treatment for acute ischemic stroke. The establishment of telestroke technology has allowed patients presenting to hospitals that lack expert stroke care to be evaluated and receive tPA. The safety of tPA administered through telestroke has been evaluated only when tPA is given within the 3-h window of last known normal. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety of tPA when administered through telestroke within a 4.5-h window.


A retrospective analysis on the prospectively collected database for all patients who received tPA at the Medical University of South Carolina Comprehensive Stroke Center (MUSC) (hub), as well as the MUSC telestroke network partner hospitals (spokes), was performed. Collected data included demographics, baseline characteristics, time from last known well to tPA administration, and symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH) rates. Logistic regression was used to examine the odds of a sICH in patients at spoke sites compared with the hub controlling for patient stroke severity, gender, age, and race.


A total of 830 patients were identified. Median National Institute of Health Stroke Scale was significantly higher among patients treated at the hub (9 vs. 8, p = 0.013), and the hub treated a higher percentage of nonwhite patients (p = 0.039). sICH occurred in 27 (4.8%) in the spoke group and 10 (3.8%) in the hub group (p = 0.523). Logistic regression results found no significant difference in the odds of sICH if tPA is given in a spoke site.


Our study shows similar rates of sICH when intravenous tPA is administered at spokes through telestroke network compared with the hub.


intravenous alteplase; tPA safety; telestroke


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