The combined analysis found that patients
treated with t-PA within 90 minutes of stroke onset were 3 times more
likely to get back to normal or near normal at three months following
stroke, as compared to patients treated with placebo. Patients treated
within 90-180 minutes after onset were 1.5 times more likely to have an
excellent outcome. In addition, the analysis indicates that the chance
of benefiting from early stroke treatment with t-PA may extend beyond
three hours after the onset of stroke.
"This combined analysis emphasizes that
every minute counts in the treatment of acute stroke," said Dr.
Broderick. "Delay of treatment by an hour was associated with a halving
of the benefit of t-PA. We are encouraged by the finding that t-PA's
benefit may extend beyond three hours from onset. This finding is
currently being explored in several large ongoing trials outside North
Results of the six trials also indicated
that patients suffering more severe strokes were more likely to get to
the hospital early, while those with mild stroke symptoms took longer
to get to the hospital.
"The most important current task for all
of us who do stroke research and care for stroke patients is educating
the public to recognize stroke symptoms and to call 911 as quickly as
possible," said Arthur Pancioli, MD, vice chairman of the UC Department
of Emergency Medicine, and co-director of the Greater
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Stroke Team.