Local thrombolysis may reduce mortality after acute vertebrobasilar artery occlusion. We focused on variables affecting recanalization, outcome and long-term prognosis. Thirty-six patients with vertebrobasilar artery occlusion were treated with local intraarterial thrombolytic therapy. Four of the survivors were among the 16 patients without recanalization. Recanalization was associated with a higher survival rate. Top-of-the-basilar-type occlusions have the highest recanalization rate. The thrombolytic medication used did not influence the recanalization frequency. One patient died due to an intracerebral bleed after thrombolysis. There was no association between the time interval (greater or less than 6 h) between the onset of symptoms and therapy initiation and survival. Relapses during follow-up (mean follow-up 3.7 years) did not occur. MRI/MRA and ultrasound studies during follow-up showed unchanged results in these patients. All survivors at the time of follow-up lived at home.
Copyright 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel