The new American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guidelines will give more ischemic stroke patients access to crucial treatments that can improve outcomes and reduce the risk for disability following stroke. The guidelines increase the treatment window for mechanical blood clot removal from six hours to as many as 24 hours in certain patients and also give more patients access to an effective clot-dissolving drug called alteplase (Activase) – the only FDA-approved clot-busting treatment for ischemic stroke.
Under previous guidelines, alteplase was not recommended for patients with mild strokes, but the latest research suggests it could help some of these patients. Physicians should consider the risks and benefits on an individual basis because the drug lower the risk for disability when given promptly and appropriately.
The new guidelines were released during the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018 in Los Angeles and published in Stroke.