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Feasibility of acute thrombolytic therapy for stroke

Author(s): Nandigam K | Narayan S | Elangovan S | Dutta T | Sethuraman K | Das A

Journal: Neurology India
ISSN 0028-3886

Volume: 51;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 470;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: Thrombolytic therapy | Stroke | Rural India.

Background: Thrombolysis is an expensive medical intervention for ischemic stroke and hence there is a need to study the feasibility of thrombolysis in rural India. Aims: To asses the feasibility and limitations of providing thrombolytic therapy to acute ischemic stroke patients in a rural Indian set-up. Material and Methods: The first 64 consecutive patients registered under the Acute Stroke Registry in a university referral hospital with a rural catchment area were studied as per a detailed protocol and questionnaire. Results: Of the 64 patients 44 were ischemic strokes, and 20 were hemorrhagic. Thirteen (29.55%) patients with ischemic stroke reached a center with CT scan facility within 3 hours, of whom only 7 (15.91%) were eligible to receive thrombolytic therapy as per the existing clinical and radiological criteria, but none received the therapy. Of the remaining 31 (70.45%) who arrived late, 11 (25%) had no clinical and radiological contraindications for thrombolysis, except the time factor. All the patients belonged to a low socioeconomic status and a rural background. Conclusion: Though a large proportion of ischemic stroke patients were eligible to receive thrombolytic therapy, the majority could not reach a center with adequate facilities within the recommended time window. More alarmingly, even for those patients who reached within the time window, no significant attempt was made to initiate thrombolysis. These data call not only for attention to improve existing patient transport facilities, but also for improving the awareness of efficacy and therapeutic window of thrombolysis in stroke, among the public as well as primary care doctors.

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