The Blog

Thanks for dropping by! We have curated an incredible collection of the best articles from the leading Emergency Medicine, Tactical Medicine, Prehospitial Medicine, Austere & Remote Medicine authors, as well as Survival Medicine gurus and many others!

We hope you find something of interested to you, please use the search bar on top to narrow down what you are looking for.

As always, all credit is given to the original author and origin publication.

Blogs

Rebellion21: Alteplase for Stroke of Unknown Time of Onset

Marco Torres | Sep 25, 21

In this 9 minute video from day 2 of Rebellion in EM 2021, I go over the evidence for advanced imaging use in acute ischemic stroke of unknown time of onset to help guide treatment with intravenous alteplase.

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Marco Torres | Feb 15, 21
Tenecteplase for Thrombolysis of AIS?

Background: Alteplase has been the accepted thrombolytic for acute ischemic stroke (AIS) for 25 years. However, recent data has emerged regarding tenectaplase as an alternative.  Tenecteplase is a modified form of alteplase, with a lower cost and more favorable pharmacokinetic profile allowing for bolus injection.  Specifically, it has a higher fibrin specificity and lower affinity to plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) with a slightly longer half-life.

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Marco Torres | Dec 17, 20
REBEL Cast Ep92: Alteplase for Stroke of Unknown Time of Onset?

Background: Intravenous alteplase is the current standard care for treatment of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) despite active debate on the research supporting its use.  The window for its use has been restricted to <3h of symptom onset based on the results of the NINDS trial and extended to a time window of <4.5h based on the results of the ECASS-3 trial. Both studies excluded patients with unknown time of onset and these patients are excluded from consideration for thrombolytics in real life as well. These trials are the only randomized studies showing benefit of intravenous alteplase vs placebo in acute ischemic stroke to date.  Of note, both of these trials have undergone reanalysis calling the validity of their results into question.  Despite which side of the debate you fall on, stroke care has moved on with advanced perfusion imaging and thrombectomy in large vessel occlusion strokes. Increased use of perfusion imaging has challenged the idea that time is a critical determinant of which patients should be considered for thrombolytics.

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Marco Torres | Jul 27, 20
Thrombolysis in Acute Ischemic Stroke: Now We Have No Positive RCTs

Background: The scientific process in medicine is complicated. Obtaining high-quality data to guide management requires hypothesis formulation, data to support the hypothesis and study replication. Time and again beneficial findings in therapeutic studies fail to be replicated in subsequent studies. A single positive trial may cause some to feel it unethical to assign patients to a standard therapy that could potentially deprive them of benefit. Alternatively, pharmaceutical companies have little impetus to attempt or support collecting additional data that may jeopardize their product. In research, repetition is the pillar on which clinical trials results should be founded on. As this may not be feasible, complete transparency of all aspects of a trial are essential.

One of the most hotly debated topics in emergency medicine is the use of systemic thrombolysis in acute ischemic stroke.  There are only two randomized clinical trials that demonstrate benefit in neurologic outcomes: NINDS-II and ECASS-III (see table below).  Methodological experts, however, have raised concerns that both studies had baseline imbalances in stroke severity that may have biased the trials final results. Both studies have undergone re-analysis taking these baseline differences into account.

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Marco Torres | Feb 06, 20
Extending Systemic Thrombolysis to 4.5 – 9 Hours and Wake-Up Strokes Using Perfusion Imaging: A Meta-Analysis

Background Information: The administration of alteplase (tPA) in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) continues to remain a highly debated topic. As hospital systems continue to undergo major changes to facilitate this controversial drug’s administration, more studies are coming out focusing on neuroimaging and how it plays a role in the time window of AIS. The WAKE-UP trial was one of the first studies to identify MRI patterns suggestive of a stroke in patient whose onset time was unknown.1,2 Over the past 10+ years, other studies have also attempted to identify the role of advanced neuroimaging guiding tPA administration for improved functional outcomes. The authors conducted a meta-analysis to test the hypothesis that tPA improves functional outcomes compared with placebo 4.5 – 9 hours after onset in AIS patients who received advanced neuroimaging. Before getting into the study, we need to better understand the terminology and different types of neuroimaging modalities available and how they play a role in strokes.

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Marco Torres | Oct 30, 19
REBEL Cast Ep72: Systemic Alteplase in Stroke Mimics is Safe?

Background: Currently, alteplase is the mainstay of treatment of acute ischemic stroke.  Advocates of alteplase suggest that the benefit of alteplase is greatest when given early and declines with increasing time from stroke symptom onset (i.e. time is brain).  Therefore, the AHA/ASA guidelines recommend intravenous alteplase within 4.5 hours after stroke onset, which is based on very weak evidence (i.e. NINDS & ECASS III).

Due to weak evidence in support of it’s use and significant patient risks associated with alteplase, it’s use in acute ischemic stroke remains controversial.  One of the big issues is that by decreasing the time for evaluation and treatment, there is an increased risk of administrating alteplase to patients presenting with noncerebrovascular conditions that can resemble an acute ischemic stroke (i.e. stroke mimics).  This puts patients with no chance of improvement with alteplase at risk for increased mortality and symptomatic ICH.  There is some limited data on the safety of alteplase in stroke mimics and this study adds to that knowledge.

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Anton Helman | Apr 23, 19
EMU 365 Thrombolysis in Pulmonary Embolism with Amit Shah

The final EMU365 video from EMU2018 features Dr. Amit Shah who discusses decision making and dosing around the use of thrombolytics in PE in the context of cardiac arrest, massive PE and submassive PE; the controversy around using half dose alteplase, and nuanced decision making around which patients with submassive PEs should have thrombolysis...

The post EMU 365 Thrombolysis in Pulmonary Embolism with Amit Shah appeared first on Emergency Medicine Cases.

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