The impact of cerebral microbleeds on stroke treatment

April 20, 2016

IN THE NEWS:  An article in MedPage Today reported findings from a meta-analysis published in JAMA Neurology showing that stroke patients with cerebral microbleeds were at a  two- to 12-fold greater risk for brain bleeding following  intravenous thrombolysis treatment (tPA). The study authors conclude that identifying cerebral microbleed burden through MRI can help identify brain bleed risk factors that should be considered before treating stroke patients with tPA.

In an accompanying JAMA editorial, UCI Health neurologist Dr. Mark Fisher noted that cerebral microbleeds have been found to be present in more than 20 percent of older people, but are rare in younger patients. He contends that the critical factor relevant to tPA treatment for stroke patients is not the cerebral microbleeds themselves, but the nature of the blood vessel damage contributing to micro  hemorrhage development.

“Ultimately, the number of cerebral microbleeds present will be less important than the nature of the process driving microbleed development,” he writes.

Read the MedPage Today story ›

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