We compared the rates of recanalization cerebral infarct and hemorrhage between intra-arterial (IA) reteplase and intravenous (IV) alteplase thrombolysis in a canine model of basilar artery thrombosis. Thrombosis was induced by injecting a clot in the basilar artery of 13 anesthetized dogs via superselective catheterization. The animals were randomized in a blinded fashion, 2 h after clot injection and verification of arterial occlusion, to receive IV alteplase 0.9 mg/kg over 60 min and IA placebo, or IA reteplase 0.09 units/kg over 20 min, equivalent to one-half the alteplase dose, and IV placebo. Recanalization was studied for 6 h after treatment with serial angiography; the images were later graded in a blinded fashion. Blinded interpretation of postmortem MRI was performed to assess the presence of brain infarcts and/or hemorrhage. At 3 h after initiation of treatment, partial or complete recanalization was observed in one of six dogs in the IV alteplase group and in five of seven in the IA reteplase group (P =0.08). At 6 h, no significant difference in partial or complete recanalization was observed between the groups (two of six vs. five of seven; P =0.20). Postmortem MRI revealed infarcts in four of six animals treated with IV alteplase and three of seven treated with IA reteplase (P =0.4). Intracerebral hemorrhage was more common in the IV alteplase group (four of six vs. none of seven; P =0.02). This study thus suggests that IA thrombolysis affords a recanalization rate similar to that of IV thrombolysis, but with a lower rate of intracerebral hemorrhage.
- Basilar artery
- Ischemic stroke