CLINICAL TRIAL
COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Local intraarterial fibrinolysis administered in aliquots for the treatment of central retinal artery occlusion: the Johns Hopkins Hospital experience.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Central retinal artery occlusion results in acute visual loss with poor spontaneous recovery. Current standard therapies do not alter the natural history of disease. Several open-label clinical studies using continuous infusion of thrombolytic agents have suggested that local intraarterial fibrinolysis (LIF) is efficacious in the treatment of central retinal artery occlusion. The aim is to compare the visual outcome in patients with acute central retinal artery occlusion of presumed thromboembolic etiology treated with LIF administered in aliquots with that of patients treated with standard therapy.

METHODS: We conducted a single-center, nonrandomized interventional study of consecutive patients with acute central retinal artery occlusion from July 1999 to July 2006.

RESULTS: Twenty-one patients received LIF and 21 received standard therapy. Seventy-six percent of subjects in the LIF group had a visual acuity improvement of one line or more compared with 33% in the standard therapy group (P=0.012, Fisher exact). Multivariate logistic regression controlling for gender, history of prior stroke/transient ischemic attack, and history of hypercholesterolemia showed that patients who received tissue plasminogen activator were 36 times more likely to have improvement in visual acuity (P=0.0001) after adjusting for these covariates. Post hoc analysis showed that patients who received tissue plasminogen activator were 13 times more likely to have improvement in visual acuity of 3 lines or more (P=0.03) and 4.9 times more likely to have a final visual acuity of 20/200 or better (P=0.04). Two groin hematomas were documented in the LIF group. No ischemic strokes, retinal or intracerebral hemorrhages were documented.

CONCLUSIONS: LIF administered in aliquots is associated with an improvement in visual acuity compared with standard therapy and has few side effects.

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