Introduction: Intra-arterial (IA) thrombolysis with plasminogen activator is well-known, but the use of IA tirofiban as an adjuvant for IA thrombolysis is not well-known. We investigated the feasibility of IA tirofiban as an adjuvant after unsuccessful IA recanalization with urokinase (UK) for acute ischemic stroke.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed all 16 consecutive patients (11 men and five women; mean age, 61.3 years; range, 36-85 years) who were treated with IA tirofiban after isolated IA thrombolysis with UK or bridging therapy with systemic recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA; 0.6 mg/Kg) and IA UK for acute ischemic stroke. Outcome measures included angiographic recanalization (thrombolysis in cerebral infarction, TICI), symptomatic and asymptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), mortality, and functional independence at 3 months (modified Rankin Scale, 0-2).
Results: Among the 16 patients treated with IA tirofiban as an adjuvant, 10 patients had conventional dose (<25 ug/kg, bolus) and six patients had high dose (≥25 ug/kg, bolus) of IA tirofiban after unsuccessful IA thrombolysis whether systemic rt-PA used or not. Successful angiographic recanalization (TICI grade 2b or 3) was achieved in 13 patients (13/16) and a functional independence at 3 months in eight patients (8/16). Three months after therapy, three patients had died. There were two patients of symptomatic ICH and four asymptomatic ICH.
Conclusion: Conventional dose of IA tirofiban as an adjuvant during IA thrombolysis for acute ischemic stroke seems feasible. However, further dose escalation studies should be performed regarding the IA use of tirofiban for acute ischemic stroke.