Joan Martí-Fàbregas a , Yolanda Bravo a , Dolores Cocho a , Josep-Lluis Martí-Vilalta a , Jordi Díaz-Manera a , Luis San Román b , Mireia Puig c , Miguel Blanco d , Mar Castellanos e , Mónica Millán f , Jaume Roquer g , Víctor Obach h , José Maestre i
15 November 2006
Background: To determine the frequency and predictors of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (SICH) in patients treated with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA). Methods: We reviewed the databases of 7 tertiary hospitals that treated ischemic stroke patients with intravenous rt-PA. We recorded demographic data, vascular risk factors, time between onset and treatment, dose, the NIHSS score, body temperature, blood pressure, platelet count, blood glucose, antiplatelet treatment, and CT data. We also registered the study protocol used for treatment and deviations from the accepted protocol. A control CT was performed on all patients. SICH was diagnosed if a parenchymal hematoma was detected within the 36 h after rt-PA and was associated with an increase of ≧4 in the NIHSS score. Bivariate analyses were performed followed by a logistic regression analysis. Results: A total of 347 patients were studied, whose mean age was 68 ± 10.9 years; 56% were men. Thirty-two patients (9.2%) exhibited a parenchymal hematoma, and 8 patients (2.3%) suffered a SICH. Patients with SICH had a higher frequency of previous transient ischemic attack (p = 0.04), early signs of ischemia (p = 0.003), hyperdense arterial sign (p = 0.008), and deviations (p = 0.002). Early signs of ischemia (OR 8.5, 95% CI 1.6–45.4, p = 0.01) and deviation from the protocol (OR 11.1, 95% CI 2.4–50, p = 0.002) were independent predictors of SICH. Conclusions: SICH is infrequent in patients with ischemic stroke treated with rt-PA outside of a clinical trial. Its frequency increases in the presence of early signs of ischemia on the noncontrast CT scan and deviations from the recommended protocol.