Intravenous thrombolysis in ischemic stroke patients with a prior intracranial hemorrhage: a meta-analysis

Mahsa Dolatshahi, Mohammadmahdi Sabahi, Shima Shahjouei, Eric Koza, Vida Abedi, Ramin Zand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The history of intracranial hemorrhage (ICrH) is considered a contraindication for intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) among patients with acute ischemic stroke (AIS). Objective: This study aimed at comparing the safety of IVT among patients with and without a history of ICrH. Methods: We performed a systematic review of the literature. Data regarding all AIS patients with prior ICrH who received IVT were retrieved. Meta-analysis was performed to compare the rate of symptomatic hemorrhagic transformation (sHT), death within 90 days, and favorable and unfavorable 90-day functional outcomes based on modified Rankin Scale (mRS) among stroke patients with and without prior ICrH. Results: Out of 13,032 reviewed records, 7 studies were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. Quantitative synthesis of data regarding the rate of sHT (5068 patients) revealed no significant difference between the two groups [odds ratio, OR: 1.55 (0.77, 3.12); p = 0.22]. However, a significantly higher risk of death within 90 days [OR: 3.91 (2.16, 7.08); p < 0.00001] and a significantly higher 90-day poor functional outcomes (mRS, 4–6) [OR: 1.57 (1.07, 2.30); p = 0.02] were observed among patients with prior ICrH. Likewise, the percentage of 90-day good functional outcomes (mRS, 0–1) was lower in the prior ICrH group [OR: 0.54 (0.35, 0.84); p = 0.06]. Subgroup analyses in patients with a history of ICrH (based on both patients’ medical history and imaging confirmation) revealed no significant between-group differences in rates of sHT. Also, sensitivity analysis consisting of only studies using standard-dose IVT showed no difference in sHT rates and 90-day outcomes between the two groups. There was no evidence of heterogeneity (I2 >50%) among included studies. Conclusion: The results of this study indicated that prior history of ICrH does not increase the risk of sHT post-IVT, but it is associated with a higher risk of death and poor functional outcomes in 90 days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders
StatePublished - Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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