Hemorrhagic transformation after fibrinolysis with tissue plasminogen activator: evaluation of role of hypertension with rat thromboembolic stroke model

E Tejima, Y Katayama, Y Suzuki, T Kano, E H Lo
Stroke; a Journal of Cerebral Circulation 2001, 32 (6): 1336-40

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We used a rat model of thromboembolic stroke to evaluate whether hypertension increases the incidence of hemorrhage after fibrinolysis with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA).

METHODS: In this model, a microclot suspension was injected into the middle cerebral artery territory to induce focal ischemia. Reperfusion was induced in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) by administering tPA (10 mg/kg) intravenously at 2 hours or 6 hours after the onset of thromboembolic focal ischemia. In untreated control rats, saline was administered at 2 hours after ischemia.

RESULTS: Hemorrhagic transformation was observed only in rats that received tPA at 6 hours (6 of 8 rats [75%]). Reduction of mean arterial blood pressure from 122+/-3 to 99+/-2 mm Hg with hydralazine, given to SHR for 1 week before ischemia, significantly decreased the incidence of hemorrhage in 2 of 11 rats (18%). tPA reduced infarct volumes, but cotreatment with hydralazine did not result in further protection.

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that in this rat thromboembolic model of stroke, tPA-induced hemorrhage is dependent on blood pressure and that pharmacological reduction of hypertension during fibrinolysis can reduce the risk of hemorrhagic transformation.

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