Background and Purpose- Thrombolysis with alteplase has beneficial effect on outcome and is safe within 4.5 hours. The present study compares the efficacy and safety of tenecteplase and alteplase in patients treated 3 to 4.5 hours after ischemic stroke. Methods- The data are from a prespecified substudy of patients included in The NOR-TEST (Norwegian Tenecteplase Stroke Trial), a randomized control trial comparing tenecteplase with alteplase. Results- The median admission National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale for this study population was 3 (interquartile range, 2-6). In the intention-to-treat analysis, 57% of patients that received tenecteplase and 53% of patients that received alteplase reached good functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale score of 0-1) at 3 months (odds ratio, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.68-2.10). The rates of intracranial hemorrhage in the first 48 hours were 5.7% in the tenecteplase group and 6.7% in the alteplase group (odds ratio, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.26-2.70). At 3 months, mortality was 5.7% and 4.5%, respectively. After excluding stroke mimics and patients with modified Rankin Scale score of >1 before stroke, the proportion of patients with good functional outcome was 61% in the tenecteplase group and 57% in the alteplase group (odds ratio, 1.24; 95% CI, 0.65-2.37). Conclusions- Tenecteplase is at least as effective as alteplase to achieve a good clinical outcome in patients with mild stroke treated between 3 and 4.5 hours after ischemic stroke. Clinical Trial Registration- URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov . Unique identifier: NCT01949948.
Keywords: intention to treat analysis; intracranial hemorrhages; mortality; odds ratio; tenecteplase.