Mahaffey KW, Granger CB, Sloan MA, Green CL, Gore JM, Weaver WD, White HD, Simoons ML, Barbash GI, Topol EJ, Califf RM
Intracranial hemorrhage is an uncommon but very dangerous complication in patients receiving thrombolytic therapy for acute myocardial infarction. Neurosurgical evacuation is often an available treatment option. However, the association between neurosurgical evacuation and clinical outcomes in these patients has yet to be determined.
The GUSTO-I trial randomly assigned 41,021 patients with acute myocardial infarction to 1 of 4 thrombolytic strategies in 1081 hospitals in 15 countries. A total of 268 patients (0.65%) had an intracranial hemorrhage. We assessed differences in clinical characteristics, neuroimaging features, Glasgow coma scale scores, functional status (disabled: moderate or severe deficit; not disabled: no or minor deficit) and 30-day mortality rate between the 46 patients who underwent neurosurgical evacuation and the 222 patients who did not.
Mortality rate at 30days for all patients with intracranial hemorrhage was 60%; an additional 27% were disabled. Evacuation was associated with significantly higher 30-day survival (65% versus 35%, P<.001) and a trend toward improved functional status (nondisabling stroke: 20% versus 12%, P =.15).
Although intracranial hemorrhage is uncommon after thrombolysis for acute myocardial infarction, 87% of patients die or have disabling stroke. Although not definitive, these data indicate that neurosurgical evacuation may be associated with improved clinical outcomes. Physicians treating such patients should consider early neurosurgical consultation and intervention in these patients.
Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27715, USA.