Administering antiplatelet medication within 24 hours of a mechanical thrombectomy procedure may help stroke patients recover more successfully and prevent high-risk individuals from experiencing additional strokes, according to a study presented yesterday at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) annual meeting (31 July–4 August, San Diego, USA).
While antiplatelet medication prevents blood clots from forming—and potentially causing strokes—by keeping platelets from sticking together, it can also cause brain bleeding if administered soon after a thrombectomy.
To find a way to safely use antiplatelets without causing additional risks, researchers reviewed data from 190 patients who underwent this treatment between 2016 and 2020, and categorised patients by those who received antiplatelet medication less than 24 hours after surgery, and those who received the medication later.
Via a single-institution registry study, researchers noted that emergent large vessel occlusion stroke patients who received antiplatelet medication within 24 hours of mechanical thrombectomy were significantly more physically independent at discharge from the hospital than patients who received the antiplatelet medication later.
This difference was maintained longer-term as well, with patients who received early antiplatelet medication having much better physical functioning scores both one month and three months after surgery. In addition, there was no sign that giving patients antiplatelet medication earlier led to an increased risk of brain bleeding after surgery.
“Continuously working to improve patient outcomes is one of our top priorities,” said Hepzibha Alexander (Ascension Providence Hospital, Southfield, USA), lead author in the study. “Finding a new way to safely use this already-essential medication is an exciting step forward in helping patients thrive after stroke.”