Early Recanalization With Alteplase in Stroke Because of Large Vessel Occlusion in the ESCAPE Trial

Stroke. 2021 Jan;52(1):304-307. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.031591. Epub 2020 Nov 20.


Background and purpose: Quantitating the effect of intravenous alteplase on the technical outcome of early recanalization of large vessel occlusions aids understanding. We report the prevalence of early recanalization in patients with stroke because of large vessel occlusion treated with and without intravenous alteplase and endovascular thrombectomy, and its association with clinical outcome.

Methods: Patients with acute ischemic stroke with large vessel occlusion from the ESCAPE trial (Endovascular Treatment for Small Core and Anterior Circulation Proximal Occlusion With Emphasis on Minimizing CT to Recanalization Times Trial) were included in this post hoc analysis. Outcomes of interest were the prevalence of early recanalization (1) and good outcome (2), defined as modified Rankin Scale score of 0 to 2 at 90 days.

Results: Among 147 patients who did not receive endovascular thrombectomy, early recanalization occurred in 4/30 (13.3%) patients without and 48/117 (41.0%) patients with intravenous alteplase (adjusted risk ratios, 3.2 [95% CI, 1.2-8.1]). Good outcome was achieved by 34/116 (29.3%) of patients who received intravenous alteplase versus 10/29 (34.5%) who did not receive alteplase (adjusted risk ratios, 1.0 [95% CI, 0.6-1.5) and by 20/52 (38.5%) patients with versus 24/93 (25.8%) without early recanalization (adjusted risk ratios, 1.9 [95% CI, 1.2-2.9]).

Conclusions: Early recanalization was confirmed as a strong predictor of good outcome in patients who did not undergo endovascular thrombectomy and was improved with intravenous alteplase, yet a majority of patients (59.0%) did not achieve early reperfusion. Registration: URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT01778335.

Keywords: angiography; follow-up; prevalence; reperfusion; thrombectomy; thrombolysis; tissue-type plasminogen activator.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravenous
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Stroke / drug therapy*
  • Stroke / drug therapy
  • Thrombectomy / methods
  • Thrombolytic Therapy
  • Time-to-Treatment
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Tissue Plasminogen Activator

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01778335