Context: Intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator can be beneficial to some patients when given within 3 hours of stroke onset, but many patients present later after stroke onset and alternative treatments are needed.
Objective: To determine the clinical efficacy and safety of intra-arterial (IA) recombinant prourokinase (r-proUK) in patients with acute stroke of less than 6 hours' duration caused by middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion.
Design: PROACT II (Prolyse in Acute Cerebral Thromboembolism II), a randomized, controlled, multicenter, open-label clinical trial with blinded follow-up conducted between February 1996 and August 1998.
Setting: Fifty-four centers in the United States and Canada.
Patients: A total of 180 patients with acute ischemic stroke of less than 6 hours' duration caused by angiographically proven occlusion of the MCA and without hemorrhage or major early infarction signs on computed tomographic scan.
Intervention: Patients were randomized to receive 9 mg of IA r-proUK plus heparin (n = 121) or heparin only (n = 59).
Main outcome measures: The primary outcome, analyzed by intention-to-treat, was based on the proportion of patients with slight or no neurological disability at 90 days as defined by a modified Rankin score of 2 or less. Secondary outcomes included MCA recanalization, the frequency of intracranial hemorrhage with neurological deterioration, and mortality.
Results: For the primary analysis, 40% of r-proUK patients and 25% of control patients had a modified Rankin score of 2 or less (P = .04). Mortality was 25% for the r-proUK group and 27% for the control group. The recanalization rate was 66% for the r-proUK group and 18% for the control group (P<.001). Intracranial hemorrhage with neurological deterioration within 24 hours occurred in 10% of r-proUK patients and 2% of control patients (P = .06).
Conclusion: Despite an increased frequency of early symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage, treatment with IA r-proUK within 6 hours of the onset of acute ischemic stroke caused by MCA occlusion significantly improved clinical outcome at 90 days.