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Cerebral microbleeds (MBs) detected on gradient echo (GRE) imaging may be a risk factor for hemorrhagic complications in patients with stroke treated with IV tissue plasminogen activator (tPA).The authors prospectively evaluated patients with acute ischemic stroke treated with IV tPA between 3 and 6 hours of symptom onset. MRI scans, including GRE imaging, were performed prior to tPA treatment, 3 to 6 hours after treatment and at day 30. The authors compared the frequency of hemorrhagic complications after thrombolysis in patients with and without MBs on their baseline GRE imaging.Seventy consecutive patients (mean age, 71 +/- 29 years; 31 men, 39 women) were included. MBs were identified in 11 patients (15.7%) on baseline GRE imaging. There was no significant difference in the frequency of either symptomatic or asymptomatic hemorrhagic complications after thrombolysis between patients with and without MBs at baseline. None of the 11 patients with MBs (0%) at baseline had a symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage compared with 7 of 59 patients who did not have baseline MBs (11.9%). In addition, no patients with baseline MBs had asymptomatic hemorrhagic transformation observed at the site of any pre-treatment MB.The presence of cerebral microbleeds on gradient echo imaging does not appear to substantially increase the risk of either symptomatic or asymptomatic brain hemorrhage following IV tissue plasminogen activator administered between 3 and 6 hours after stroke onset.
View details for Web of Science ID 000232813600008
View details for PubMedID 16247042