Study finds trend toward benefit in using blood-clotting agent for bleeding stroke

February 21, 2020

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 21, 2020 -- A common medication that reduces bleeding could be a treatment for bleeding stroke, particularly if administered quickly, according to late breaking science presented today at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2020. The conference, Feb. 19-21 is in Los Angeles, a world premier meeting for researchers and clinicians dedicated to the science of stroke and brain health.

The Spot Sign and Tranexamic Acid on Preventing ICH Growth - Australasia Trial (STOP-AUST) was a multicenter, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 clinical trial using the antifibrinolytic agent tranexamic acid in people with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). ICH is a severe form of acute stroke with few treatment options.

Tranexamic acid is currently used to treat or prevent excessive blood loss from trauma, surgery, tooth removal, nosebleeds and heavy menstruation. For this study, one hundred patients with active brain bleeding were given either intravenous tranexamic acid or placebo within 4.5 hours of symptom onset. Researchers analyzed brain CT scans taken during the 24-hour period after treatment with tranexamic acid or placebo.

Researchers found a trend towards reduced hemorrhage expansion in the group treated with tranexamic acid, especially in those treated within 3 hours of the brain bleed. However, this trend was not statistically significant. The finding was consistent with previous research using the medication.

"Further trials using tranexamic acid are ongoing and focusing on ultra-early treatment - within 2 hours. This is where the greatest opportunity for intervention appears to be," said Nawaf Yassi, M.B.B.S., B.Sc., Ph.D., trial investigator and consultant neurologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

"Tranexamic acid is inexpensive, safe and widely available," said Yassi. "Our results and others provide great impetus for further, focused research using this treatment."

Larger trials focused on patient outcomes are required for this therapy to enter routine clinical practice.
-end-
The list of study authors and disclosures are available in the abstract. The study was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia) and the Royal Melbourne Hospital Foundation.

Additional Resources:

VIDEO Perspective from Mitchell S. V. Elkind, M.D., M.S., FAHA, FAAN, president elect of the American Heart Association, may be downloaded on the right column of the release link along with any additional, available multimedia. https://newsroom.heart.org/news/study-finds-trend-toward-benefit-in-using-blood-clotting-agent-for-bleeding-stroke?preview=0dfbd50d5fd6c095249c6f855b341a8c

Hemorrhagic Stroke (Bleeds)
Watch an animation of hemorrhagic stroke (for viewing/background only - not available for download)
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Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Stroke Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect Association policy or position. The Association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The Association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific Association programs and events. The Association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at https://www.heart.org/en/about-us/aha-financial-information.

The American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference (ISC) is the world's premier meeting dedicated to the science of stroke and brain health. ISC 2020 will be held February 19-21 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California. The 2 ½-day conference features more than 1,600 compelling scientific presentations in 21 categories that emphasize basic, clinical and translational science for health care professionals and researchers. These science and other clinical presentations will provide attendees with a better understanding of stroke and brain health to help improve prevention, treatment and outcomes for the more than 800,000 Americans who have a stroke each year. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the U.S. Worldwide, cerebrovascular accidents (stroke) are the second leading cause of death and the third leading cause of disability, according to the World Health Organization. Engage in the International Stroke Conference on social media via #ISC20.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is a relentless force for a world with fewer strokes and longer, healthier lives. We team with millions of volunteers and donors to ensure equitable health and stroke care in all communities. We work to prevent, treat and beat stroke by funding innovative research, fighting for the public's health, and providing lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based association was created in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit strokeassociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

American Heart Association

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