Acute reversal of dabigatran with Idarucizumab for intravenous thrombolysis as acute stroke treatment

J Clin Neurosci. 2019 Jan:59:355-357. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2018.09.027. Epub 2018 Oct 9.


Intravenous thrombolysis with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) for acute ischemic stroke (AIS) is contraindicated in patient taking either Factor Xa inhibitors or direct thrombin inhibitors. Idarucizumab completely reverses the biologic effect of dabigatran within minutes. Intravenous rt-PA treatment results in a significant benefit in functional outcome when administered 3-4.5 h after stroke onset or last seen normal time. There is little reported data and no large-scale studies of the reversal of dabigatran with Idarucizumab for the purpose of treating AIS with IV rt-PA. We describe the case of a 73 year old male with AIS and active dabigatran use. Idarucizumab was administered per an approved medical center protocol and the patient was subsequently treated with IV rt-PA. The patient had a severe stroke with no other contraindications to IV rt-PA other than dabigatran use. The patient was administered Idarucizumab and IV rt-PA was given. Within 24 h of treatment, the patient had minimal stroke deficits. Imaging revealed a right middle cerebral artery patchy infarct. The patient was restarted on dabigatran therapy for his atrial fibrillation and was discharged to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation. The patient did not experience any symptomatic or asymptomatic intracranial hemorrhage after treatment or through day 90. Though no randomized evidence exists for the risk of IV rt-PA after dabigatran reversal with Idarucizumab, the case experiences are mounting. This case of successful stroke treatment after reversal adds to the anecdotal literature and supports the study of dabigatran reversal with Idarucizumab for thrombolysis in AIS.

Keywords: Acute stroke treatment; Anticoagulation; Dabigatran; Idarucizumab; Ischemic stroke; Reversal; Thrombolysis; rt-PA.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use*
  • Antithrombins / administration & dosage
  • Antithrombins / therapeutic use*
  • Dabigatran / administration & dosage
  • Dabigatran / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Antagonism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Stroke / drug therapy*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antithrombins
  • idarucizumab
  • Dabigatran