Intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) is rarely performed in dizzy patients with acute vestibular syndrome (AVS) or acute imbalance (AIS) even if posterior circulation stroke (PCS) is suspected. Decision-making may be affected by uncertainties in discriminating central from peripheral vestibulopathy or concerns of IVT-related harm, particularly intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), but related studies are missing. Using an in-house register of dizzy patients coming to the emergency room, we identified 29 AVS/AIS patients who presented within 4.5 h after onset, revealed clinical signs indicative of PCS (central oculomotor signs, mild focal abnormalities), and had non-contrast computed tomography (NCCT). Patients treated with IVT (n = 15) were compared to NoIVT patients (n = 14) with regard to clinical and imaging (including perfusion computed tomography, CTP) parameters, occurrence of ICH and short-term clinical outcome (NIHSS improvement; ability to walk independently). IVT and NoIVT patients did not differ in baseline characteristics, central oculomotor signs, or clinical outcome. IVT patients more often exhibited disabling vestibular symptoms (severe dizziness/vertigo, inability to stand unsupported) and focal abnormalities than NoIVT patients. There was no ICH in either group. CTP was performed in 0% of NoIVT versus 80% of IVT patients, seven of twelve revealing posterior circulation hypoperfusion. Comparison of initial hypoperfusion (CTP) and final stroke (NCCT) revealed IVT-related benefit (smaller lesion) in three of seven IVT patients. In AVS/AIS patients with suspected PCS, disabling vestibular symptoms, focal neurological deficits, and hypoperfusion on CTP seem to direct decision-making pro IVT. In our small cohort, there were no significant IVT-related clinical benefits, no IVT-related ICHs, and salvage of brain tissue in some patients.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)