Thrombolytic treatment in the oldest-old patient with acute ischemic stroke: an update on current evidence

  • Fabiola Maioli | fabiola.maioli@ausl.bologna.it Geriatric and Stroke Unit Medical Department, Maggiore Hospital AUSL of Bologna, Italy.
  • Gaetano Procaccianti Department and Neurology Stroke Unit, Maggiore Hospital AUSL of Bologna, Italy.
  • Valeria Nativio Geriatric and Stroke Unit Medical Department, Maggiore Hospital AUSL of Bologna, Italy.
  • Giorgia Arnone Geriatric and Stroke Unit Medical Department, Maggiore Hospital AUSL of Bologna, Italy.
  • Roberto Nardi Internal Medicine, Medical Department, Maggiore Hospital AUSL of Bologna, Italy.
  • Tommaso Sacquegna Department and Neurology Stroke Unit, Maggiore Hospital AUSL of Bologna, Italy.
  • Maura Coveri Geriatric and Stroke Unit Medical Department, Maggiore Hospital AUSL of Bologna, Italy.

Abstract

The incidence of ischemic stroke rises exponentially with age, with a steep increase in the age interval between 75 and 85 years. Thrombolytic therapy restores cerebral blood flow in patients with acute ischemic stroke of any etiology by using drugs that dissolve blood clots. Infusion for 1 h of alteplase at the dose of 0.9 mg/kg within 3 h of the start of the symptoms is associated to a 30% increase in the likelihood of gaining a favorable outcome with respect to placebo. There is strong evidence that selected patients with ischemic stroke may benefit from intravenous thrombolysis when treated within 3 h. The aim of the study was to evaluate available evidence for the efficacy and safety of thrombolytic therapy in patients with ischemic stroke aged 80 years and over. Compared to younger stroke patients treated with thrombolytic therapy, those aged 80 years and over have higher acute mortality due to symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage. However, functional outcome at six months is significantly better for over-80-year-olds than younger patients. There is a need for screening tools that take into account pre-stroke functional and cognitive status that are able to identify those over-80-year-old patients with ischemic stroke who can most benefit from thrombolytic treatment. Available evidence supports further recruitment of oldest-old patients into ongoing trials of thrombolysis.

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Published
2013-09-19
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Section
Reviews
Keywords:
ischemic stroke, thrombolysis, over-80-year-olds.
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How to Cite
Maioli, F., Procaccianti, G., Nativio, V., Arnone, G., Nardi, R., Sacquegna, T., & Coveri, M. (2013). Thrombolytic treatment in the oldest-old patient with acute ischemic stroke: an update on current evidence. Italian Journal of Medicine, 7(3), 160-165. https://doi.org/10.4081/itjm.2013.160