Background: The thromobolytic drug, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) has been approved in the United States for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke amid controversy and concern about the balance of risk and benefit. The Canadian Stroke Consortium (CSC), a national network of neurologists who collaborate on joint projects in stroke medicine, including clinical trials and consensus statements, has developed guidelines for the use of tPA in Canada.
Methods and results: The CSC Board of Directors wrote a preliminary report based on existing publications, including randomized drug trials and the report of a special committee struck by the Stroke Council of the American Heart Association. This draft was circulated to the CSC membership-at-large for suggestions or amendments, to produce this final draft.
Conclusions: The present guidelines have been devised to represent a Canadian viewpoint of management. The Health Protection Branch of the Ministry of Health of Canada has not yet produced an evaluation. Further modification of these guidelines may be necessary when more data from clinical trials and experience with the drug become available.