Since 1983 at the Alfred Hospital 4 patients with thrombotic or embolic vertebrobasilar occlusions have been treated with intra-arterial streptokinase (SK) infusions for the effects of persisting brainstem ischaemia despite anticoagulation with heparin. In 3 cases there was immediate and dramatic neurological improvement, in all cases associated with arteriographically demonstrated reperfusion of a blocked vessel. Two of these patients suffered further thromboembolic vertebral or basilar artery occlusions (3 days and 2 years later) but recovered fully without further thrombolytic therapy. The other patient was given intra-arterial SK 12 days after an apparently completed brainstem stroke: the therapy failed to cause reperfusion of a vertebral occlusion or produce any clinical improvement. Complications from the therapy were nausea requiring the termination of the SK infusion in one case, easily controlled bleeding from a recent surgical wound, and a clinically insignificant haemorrhagic transformation of cerebellar infarction in a third. The benefits of thrombolytic therapy in vertebrobasilar ischaemia and the dose of streptokinase required are discussed.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Clinical and Experimental Neurology|
|Publication status||Published - 1992|