Clinical benefit from thrombolysis is reduced as stroke onset to treatment time increases. The use of "mismatch" imaging to identify patients for delayed treatment has face validity and has been used in case series and clinical trials. We undertook a meta-analysis of relevant trials to examine whether present evidence supports delayed thrombolysis among patients selected according to mismatch criteria.We collated outcome data for patients who were enrolled after 3 hours of stroke onset in thrombolysis trials and had mismatch on pretreatment imaging. We selected the trials on the basis of a systematic search of the Web of Knowledge. We compared favorable outcome, reperfusion and/or recanalization, mortality, and symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage between the thrombolyzed and nonthrombolyzed groups of patients and the probability of a favorable outcome among patients with successful reperfusion and clinical findings for 3 to 6 versus 6 to 9 hours from poststroke onset. Results are expressed as adjusted odds ratios (a-ORs) with 95% CIs. Heterogeneity was explored by test statistics for clinical heterogeneity, I(2) (inconsistency), and L'Abbé plot.We identified articles describing the DIAS, DIAS II, DEDAS, DEFUSE, and EPITHET trials, giving a total of 502 mismatch patients thrombolyzed beyond 3 hours. The combined a-ORs for favorable outcomes were greater for patients who had successful reperfusion (a-OR=5.2; 95% CI, 3 to 9; I(2)=0%). Favorable clinical outcome was not significantly improved by thrombolysis (a-OR=1.3; 95% CI, 0.8 to 2.0; I(2)=20.9%). Odds for reperfusion/recanalization were increased among patients who received thrombolytic therapy (a-OR=3.0; 95% CI, 1.6 to 5.8; I(2)=25.7%). The combined data showed a significant increase in mortality after thrombolysis (a-OR=2.4; 95% CI, 1.2 to 4.9; I(2)=0%), but this was not confirmed when we excluded data from desmoteplase doses that were abandoned in clinical development (a-OR=1.6; 95% CI, 0.7 to 3.7; I(2)=0%). Symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage was significantly increased after thrombolysis (a-OR=6.5; 95% CI, 1.2 to 35.4; I(2)=0%) but not significant after exclusion of abandoned doses of desmoteplase (a-OR=5.4; 95% CI, 0.9 to 31.8; I(2)=0%).Delayed thrombolysis amongst patients selected according to mismatch imaging is associated with increased reperfusion/recanalization. Recanalization/reperfusion is associated with improved outcomes. However, delayed thrombolysis in mismatch patients was not confirmed to improve clinical outcome, although a useful clinical benefit remains possible. Thrombolysis carries a significant risk of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage and possibly increased mortality. Criteria to diagnose mismatch are still evolving. Validation of the mismatch selection paradigm is required with a phase III trial. Pending these results, delayed treatment, even according to mismatch selection, cannot be recommended as part of routine care.
View details for DOI 10.1161/STROKEAHA.109.566869
View details for Web of Science ID 000273093400041
View details for PubMedID 19926836