FEB 25, 2020 9:13 PM PST

Treating stroke with low dose of clot-busting drug

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

A study concludes that a low-dose of the clot-busting drug—tenecteplase—may be beneficial for eligible stroke patients that do not need an intervention for the mechanical removal of a clot. Specifically, researchers studied whether a dose of 0.25mg/kg or 0.40mg/kg of tenecteplase can be optimal for clot removal. Previously, alteplase was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) roughly two decades ago for treating ischemic stroke within 3 hours of onset.

Now, tenecteplase is a genetically modified variant of alteplase that may be more convenient because it is administered as a single injection venous and restores blood flow to the brain much better than alteplase in an old trial. However, tenecteplase is not currently approved for ischemic stroke—and even if it was approved researchers say that patients may still need to undergo surgical clot removal for maximum efficacy.

"The two doses behaved very similarly overall, and there was no advantage to increasing the dose beyond 0.25mg/kg in this study," said Bruce Campbell, M.B.B.S., B.Med.Sc., Ph.D., head of stroke at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne in Parkville, Australia. "These results provide reassurance that there is a window of safety if the weight-based dose is inadvertently overestimated."

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"In addition, about 34% of patients treated in rural centers had substantially improved blood flow by the time they arrived at a hospital capable of performing mechanical clot removal," Campbell said. "This treatment could be particularly important for them."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
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