Medline ® Abstract for Reference 55

of 'Intravenous fibrinolytic (thrombolytic) therapy in acute ischemic stroke: Therapeutic use'

Life-threatening orolingual angioedema during thrombolysis in acute ischemic stroke.
Engelter ST, Fluri F, Buitrago-Téllez C, Marsch S, Steck AJ, Rüegg S, Lyrer PA
J Neurol. 2005;252(10):1167.
BACKGROUND: Orolingual angioedema can occur during thrombolysis with alteplase in stroke patients. However, data about its frequency, severity and the significance of concurrent use of angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) are sparse.
OBJECTIVE: (1), to alert to the potentially life-threatening complication of orolingual angioedema. (2), to present CT-scans of the tongue which exclude lingual hematoma. (3), to estimate the frequency of orolingual angioedema. (4), to evaluate the risk associated with the concurrent use of ACEi.
METHODS: Single center, databank-based observational study on 120 consecutive patients with i. v. alteplase for acute stroke. Meta-analysis of all stroke studies on alteplase-associated angioedema, which provided detailed information about the use of ACE-inhibitors. Across studies, the Peto odds ratio of orolingual angioedema for "concurrent use of ACEi" was calculated.
RESULTS: Orolingual angioedema occurred in 2 of 120 patients (1.7%, 95% CI 0.2-5.9 %). Angioedema was mild in one, but rapidly progressive in another patient. Impending asphyxia prompted immediate intubation. CT showed orolingual swelling but no bleeding. One of 19 (5%) patients taking ACEi had orolingual angioedema, compared to 1 of 101 (1%) patients without ACEi. Medline search identified one further study about the occurrence of alteplase-associated angioedema in stroke patients stratified to the use of ACEi. Peto odds ratio of 37 (95 % CI 8-171) indicated an increased risk of alteplasetriggered angioedema for patients with ACEi (p<0.001).
CONCLUSION: Orolingual angioedema is a potentially life-threatening complication of alteplase treatment in stroke patients, especially in those with ACEi. Orolingual hematoma as differential diagnosis can be excluded by CT-scan.
Neurological Clinic and Stroke Unit, University Hospital Basel, Petersgraben 4, 4031 Basel, Switzerland.