Outcome in acute stroke with successful intra-arterial thrombolysis and predictive value of initial single-photon emission-computed tomography

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1999 Jan;19(1):99-108. doi: 10.1097/00004647-199901000-00011.


This study investigates retrospectively, in selected patients, the ischemic outcome (reversible ischemia, infarction, and hemorrhage) and neurologic outcome of acute stroke treated with intra-arterial thrombolysis and the predictive value of pretreatment single-photon emission-computed tomography (SPECT). Thirty patients with complete recanalization within 12 hours were analyzed. The extent of ischemia was outlined on SPECT, and two CBF parameters were calculated: the ratio of ischemic regional activity to CBF in the cerebellum and the asymmetry index. Reversible ischemia, infarction, and hemorrhage were identified by comparing SPECT and follow-up computed tomography. Nine patients (30%) had no or small infarction, 14 (47%) had medium or large infarction, and seven (23%) had hemorrhage. Forty-two lesions were identified (22 reversible ischemia, 13 infarction, and 7 hemorrhage). Duration of ischemia, urokinase dose, disease type, and occlusion site were nonsignificant factors, whereas neurologic outcome and CBF parameters were significant among the three patient groups and three types of ischemic lesions. Ischemic tissue with CBF greater than 55% of cerebellar flow still may be salvageable, even with treatment initiated 6 hours after onset of symptoms. Ischemic tissue with CBF greater than 35% of cerebellar flow still may be salvageable with early treatment (less than 5 hours). Ischemic tissue with with CBF less than 35% of cerebellar flow may be at risk for hemorrhage within the critical time window. Pretreatment SPECT can provide useful parameters to increase the efficacy of thrombolysis by reducing hemorrhagic complications and improving neurologic outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Infarction / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Infarction / physiopathology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders* / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intra-Arterial
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fibrinolytic Agents