Background and purpose: The optimal dose of alteplase for acute ischemic stroke among geriatric patients is unclear. We aimed to assess the efficacy and safety of a low-dose (0.6 mg/kg) and standard-dose (0.9 mg/kg) alteplase for varying severity of Asian geriatric stroke patients. Methods: The favorable functional outcome on day 90 after stroke onset, and the symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (SICH) rate following 24–36 h of intravenous alteplase were measured. The baseline NIHSS of 4–8, 9–13, ≥14 were defined as mild, moderate, and high severity, respectively. Results: Totally, 249 geriatric patients treated with low-dose (n = 108) and standard-dose (n = 141) alteplase. Compared to standard-dose alteplase, low-dose alteplase had decrease in favorable functional outcome (22.2% versus 34.8%), and no difference in SICH rates was observed. For mild severity patients, the mortality was significantly increased with standard-dose alteplase (the NNT/NNH = 22.9/8.0 for mild severity, the NNT/ NNH = 15.0/14.7 for moderate severity, and the NNT/NNH = 13.5/19.6 for high severity). Conclusions: Standard-dose and low-dose alteplase were comparable in reducing major disability, but low-dose alteplase for mild stroke showed much reduced mortality on day 90 for octogenarians.
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