A pilot study of streptokinase for acute cerebral infarction

A. D. Morris*, C. Ritchie, D. G. Grosset, F. G. Adams, K. R. Lees

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We evaluated intravenous streptokinase in the treatment of cerebral infarction. Following neurological assessment and cerebral computed tomography (CT), patients aged 40-80 years with symptoms of anterior circulation acute ischaemic stroke were given 1.5 M units streptokinase or saline placebo in a double-blind randomized study. Twenty patients (10 streptokinase, 10 placebo), 11 males, 9 females, aged 57-79 years, were treated out of 512 consecutive admissions to the acute stroke unit over a 2-year period. Initial CT was normal in 11 (6 placebo, 5 streptokinase) and showed early signs of cerebral infarction in nine (4 placebo, 5 streptokinase). Median times from symptom onset to treatment were 5.2 h (placebo) and 5.8 h (streptokinase). Streptokinase treatment was associated with symptomatic hypotension in one patient. Repeat CT at 72 h demonstrated intracerebral haematoma in two patients and haemorrhagic infarction in one patient in the streptokinase group; the two cases of haematoma formation were associated with neurological deterioration and death. One patient in the placebo group had evidence of haemorrhagic infarction at 72 h. There were three deaths in each treatment group, all within the first 14 days. Patients with acute stroke can be evaluated with CT and treated with streptokinase within 6 h, but the opportunity for treatment is currently limited to few patients. Streptokinase treatment is not without risk, but potential clinical benefit justifies ongoing multicentre randomized trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-731
Number of pages5
JournalQuarterly journal of medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 1995


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