WINDOW FOR TREATMENT
ANCHOR LEAD: CAN PEOPLE WHO’VE SUFFERED STROKES STILL RECEIVE DRUG THERAPY MORE THAN THREE HOURS LATER? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
The standard of stroke treatment with the clot busting drug tissue plasminogen activator or TPA has always been use within three hours, after which the drug may actually cause harm. Now a study in the Lancet questions that dogma. Rafael Llinas, a stroke expert at Johns Hopkins, concurs.
LLINAS: There is some evidence that a lot of people might actually benefit if you can select them properly. The way TPA is given now is if you have a deficit within three hours most of those people will benefit if you just give it without too much selection. Probably the truth is that after three hours you have to select them carefully. That is something that’s been bouncing around for a bit but it’s tricky though. People think that using imaging to select, diffusion perfusion imaging, proving that people have a neurological deficit but there isn’t a lot of brain death yet. :29
Llinas emphasizes that a stroke is an emergency and prompt treatment far superior, so seek medical attention at the first sign of stroke. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.