Intravenous tPA (Tissue-Type Plasminogen Activator) in Patients With Acute Ischemic Stroke Taking Non-Vitamin K Antagonist Oral Anticoagulants Preceding Stroke.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Background and Purpose- Although there are no trials or large cohorts to inform clinical care, current guidelines caution against giving intravenous tPA (tissue-type plasminogen activator) to patients with acute ischemic stroke who are taking non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs). We performed a literature review of intravenous tPA in patients treated with NOACs preceding stroke. Methods- A literature search of PubMed was performed encompassing January 2010 to March 2018. Patient characteristics, timing of last medication intake, laboratory testing, use of reversal, and outcomes ≤3 months after discharge were summarized. Results- We identified 55 studies with 492 NOAC patients receiving tPA (dabigatran, 181; rivaroxaban, 215; apixaban, 40; and unspecified NOAC, 56). Among patients with complete data, the median time from the last NOAC intake to symptom onset was 8 hours (interquartile range, 2.5-14.5), with 55.2% (80/145) within 12 hours. Few patients underwent sensitive laboratory tests, such as thrombin time, diluted thrombin time, or anti-Xa assays before tPA administration. The overall observed rates of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage, mortality, and favorable outcomes (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score, ≤1; modified Rankin Scale score, 0-2; or neurological improvement in the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score, ≥8 points) were 4.3% (20/462), 11.3% (48/423), and 43.7% (164/375), respectively. Among dabigatran-treated patients, reversal with idarucizumab was associated with fewer symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (4.5% [2/44] versus 7.4% [8/108]; unadjusted odds ratio, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.12-2.92), death (4.5% [2/44] versus 12.0% [13/108]; unadjusted odds ratio, 0.35; 95% CI, 0.08-1.61), and more favorable outcomes (79.1% [34/43] versus 39.2% [29/74]; unadjusted odds ratio, 5.86; 95% CI, 2.45-14.00), although the differences were not statistically significant for symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage and death. Conclusions- These preliminary observations suggest that tPA may be reasonably well tolerated without prohibitive risks of bleeding complications in selected patients on NOACs. Reversal of anticoagulant effects by idarucizumab for dabigatran-treated patients before tPA is an emerging strategy that was associated with more favorable outcomes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jin, C; Huang, RJ; Peterson, ED; Laskowitz, DT; Hernandez, AF; Federspiel, JJ; Schwamm, LH; Bhatt, DL; Smith, EE; Fonarow, GC; Xian, Y

Published Date

  • September 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 49 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 2237 - 2240

PubMed ID

  • 30354981

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6706353

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1524-4628

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1161/STROKEAHA.118.022128


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States