Is heparin treatment the optimal management for cerebral venous thrombosis? Effect of abciximab, recombinant tissue plasminogen activator, and enoxaparin in experimentally induced superior sagittal sinus thrombosis

Carina Röttger, Katharina Madlener, Matthias Heil, Tibo Gerriets, Maureen Walberer, Tiemo Wessels, Georg Bachmann, Manfred Kaps, Erwin Stolz
Stroke; a Journal of Cerebral Circulation 2005, 36 (4): 841-6

BACKGROUND: Based on a newly developed model of reversible superior sagittal sinus (SSS) thrombosis in the rat, we investigated the effect of thrombolytic and anticoagulant treatment on recanalization, brain parenchymal changes, and motor deficits.

METHODS: Thrombosis of the SSS was induced by topical application of ferric chloride. Occlusion was confirmed by magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). Six hours after operation, single treatment with 10 mg recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA)/kg and 6 mg abciximab/kg or subcutaneous injection of 450 IU/kg enoxaparin twice daily was started, each group containing 10 rats. Follow-up MRI with T2- and diffusion-weighted images was performed on the first, second, and seventh postoperative day.

RESULTS: Control and enoxaparin-treated animals developed diffuse brain edema without infarction or intracerebral bleeding. This was indicated by an increase of T2 relaxation time and a decrease of the apparent diffusion coefficient in the parasagittal and lateral cortex. In these groups, the degree of recanalization after 7 days was comparable (48% versus 52%). Enoxaparin-treated animals showed significant amelioration of functional deficits. Clinical outcome was best in the abciximab-treated group, with a residual sinus occlusion of 36% after 1 week. Highest recanalization was achieved by lysis with rtPA (85%).

CONCLUSIONS: Enoxaparin treatment in rats with cerebral venous thrombosis significantly influences clinical outcome. However, it has no effect on recanalization. GPIIb/IIIa antagonists and rtPA accelerate thrombolysis. They may represent an alternative in treatment of cerebral venous thrombosis.

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