Items in AFP with MESH term: Thrombolytic Therapy
ABSTRACT: Pulmonary embolism is a disorder that is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Right-sided heart failure and recurrent pulmonary embolism are the main causes of death associated with pulmonary embolism in the first two weeks after the embolic event. Thrombolysis is a potentially lifesaving therapy when used in conjunction with standard anticoagulation. However, it has significant side effects and must therefore be used with caution. Indications for thrombolysis are not well defined and are thus controversial. The only current absolute indication is massive pulmonary embolism with hypotension. Other potential indications include right heart dysfunction, recurrent pulmonary embolism and the prevention of pulmonary hypertension. However, no evidence exists to show benefit of thrombolytic therapy over standard anticoagulation therapy for recurrent pulmonary embolism, mortality or chronic complications. Bleeding is the most common complication of thrombolysis and may be fatal.
Prevention of Recurrent Ischemic Stroke - Article
ABSTRACT: Recurrent ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack are common problems in primary care, with stroke survivors averaging 10 outpatient visits per year. Risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia should be evaluated during each office visit. Attention should be given to lifestyle modification including management of obesity, smoking cessation, reduction in alcohol consumption, and promotion of physical activity. The choice of an antiplatelet agent (e.g., aspirin, ticlopidine, clopidogrel, dipyridamole) or the anticoagulant warfarin is based on the safety, tolerability, effectiveness, and price of each agent. Aspirin is a common first choice for prevention of recurrent stroke, but the combination of dipyridamole and aspirin should be considered for many patients because of its superior effectiveness in two clinical trials. Clopidogrel is recommended for patients with aspirin intolerance or allergy, or for those who cannot tolerate dipyridamole. Warfarin and the combination of aspirin and clopidogrel should not be used in the prevention of ischemic stroke. Carotid endarterectomy is appropriate for select patients; carotid stenting was recently shown to be less effective and less safe than endarterectomy.
ABSTRACT: Optimal treatment of the patient who has sustained an acute ischemic stroke requires rapid assessment and early intervention. The leisurely approach to acute stroke management sometimes taken in the past should be replaced by an approach that treats stroke as a true medical emergency. Thrombolysis with tissue plasminogen activator has been labeled for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke, but it must be given within three hours of stroke onset. However, fibrinolytic therapy can be given safely to only a fraction of patients with acute stroke, and more broadly applicable therapies are needed. Recent evidence does not support the routine use of heparin in patients with acute stroke, and early use of aspirin offers only modest benefit. Neuroprotective therapies designed to interfere with cytotoxic events initiated by ischemia are undergoing clinical trials that should be completed within the next year. At present, only tissue plasminogen activator has been labeled for acute stroke treatment; however, other agents are on the horizon, and much can be done supportively to improve neurologic outcome. Because of the unique susceptibility of neurons to ischemia, minutes count. Thus, hospitals providing care for patients with acute stroke should organize clinical protocols and pathways for effective implementation of therapies.
ACEP Releases Clinical Policy on Evaluation and Management of Pulmonary Embolism - Practice Guidelines
Acute Myocardial Infarction - Clinical Evidence Handbook
ABSTRACT: Successful treatment of patients with ischemic stroke depends on the ability to treat within three hours of onset, because tissue plasminogen activator has not yet been proved effective beyond this time frame. The two major causes of delay in treatment are failure, on the part of the patient or family, to recognize stroke symptoms and failure to access the medical system most efficiently--by calling 911. Hospital stroke teams can shorten the time between patient arrival at the emergency department and treatment. Guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of potential stroke patients are presented, along with goal times for arrival-to-treatment intervals.
Treatment of Right Ventricular Infarction - Editorials
ACC/AHA Guidelines on the Management of Acute Myocardial Infarction - Practice Guidelines
Subacute Management of Ischemic Stroke - Article
ABSTRACT: Ischemic stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a common reason for hospitalization. The subacute period after a stroke refers to the time when the decision to not employ thrombolytics is made up until two weeks after the stroke occurred. Family physicians are often involved in the subacute management of ischemic stroke. All patients with an ischemic stroke should be admitted to the hospital in the subacute period for cardiac and neurologic monitoring. Imaging studies, including magnetic resonance angiography, carotid artery ultrasonography, and/or echocardiography, may be indicated to determine the cause of the stroke. Evaluation for aspiration risk, including a swallowing assessment, should be performed, and nutritional, physical, occupational, and speech therapy should be initiated. Significant causes of morbidity and mortality following ischemic stroke include venous thromboembolism, pressure sores, infection, and delirium, and measures should be taken to prevent these complications. For secondary prevention of future strokes, antiplatelet therapy with aspirin should be initiated within 24 hours of ischemic stroke in all patients without contraindications, and one of several antiplatelet regimens should be continued long-term. Statin therapy should also be given in most situations. Although permissive hypertension is initially warranted, antihypertensive therapy should begin within 24 hours. Diabetes mellitus should be controlled and patients counseled about lifestyle modifications to reduce stroke risk. Rehabilitative therapy following hospitalization improves outcomes and should be considered.