Meta-analysis of outcomes following intravenous thrombolysis in patients with ischemic stroke on direct oral anticoagulants.

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BACKGROUND: There has been debate on the use of intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) in patients with ischemic stroke and the recent use of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs). Studies have compared these patients with non-DOAC groups in terms of outcomes. Herein, we aimed to systematically investigate the association between DOAC use and IVT's efficacy and safety outcomes.

RESULTS: A comprehensive systematic search was performed in PubMed, Embase, Scopus, and the Web of Science for the identification of relevant studies. After screening and data extraction, a random-effect meta-analysis was performed to calculate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for comparison of outcomes between patients on DOAC and controls. Six studies were included in the final review. They investigated a total of 254,742 patients, among which 3,499 had recent use of DOACs. The most commonly used DOACs were rivaroxaban and apixaban. The patients on DOAC had significantly higher rates of atrial fibrillation, hypertension, diabetes, and smoking. Good functional outcome defined by modified Rankin Scale (mRS) 0-2 was significantly lower in patients who received DOACs (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.62 to 0.81, P < 0.01). However, in the subgroup analysis of 90-day mRS 0-2, there was no significant difference between groups (OR 0.71, 95% 0.46 to 1.11, P = 0.14). All-cause mortality was not different between the groups (OR 1.02, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.52, P = 0.93). Similarly, there was no significant difference in either of the in-hospital and 90-day mortality subgroups. Regarding symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (sICH), the previous DOAC use was not associated with an increased risk of bleeding (OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.39, P = 0.92). A similar finding was observed for the meta-analysis of any ICH (OR 1.15, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.40, P = 0.18).

CONCLUSIONS: Based on our findings, IVT could be considered as a treatment option in ischemic stroke patients with recent use of DOACs since it was not associated with an increased risk of sICH, as suggested by earlier studies. Further larger studies are needed to confirm these findings and establish the safety of IVT in patients on DOAC.





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Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Medicine, Department of Medicine Fellows and Residents, Fellows and Residents

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