Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Recombinant Tissue Plasminogen Activator

  • Elliot J. RothEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_2206


Clot buster; rTPA


Recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rTPA) is a pharmaceutical agent that converts plasminogen to plasmin, which is an enzyme that normally destroys thrombi (clots). The medication is used in emergency management to treat ischemic stroke during the acute stage. By breaking the thrombus that occludes the vessel causing the stroke, rTPA restores blood flow to the affected area and reduces or prevents brain damage and the accompanying neurological manifestations of stroke. It is effective only when it is administered immediately (i.e., within the first few hours after the onset) following the onset of stroke.

Current Knowledge

A large multicenter trial, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and published in 1996, demonstrated that appropriately selected patients treated with rTPA within 3 h of the onset of symptoms had a 30% increased likelihood of minimal or no disability and a 4% reduced risk of mortality at 90 days poststroke. Later...

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References and Readings

  1. Adams, H. P., del Zoppo, G., Alberts, M. J., Bhatt, D. L., Brass, L., Furlan, A., et al. (2007). Guidelines for the early management of adults with ischemic stroke: A guideline from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Stroke Council, Clinical Cardiology Council, Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention Council and the Atherosclerotic Peripheral Vascular Disease and Quality of Care Outcomes in Research Interdisciplinary Working Groups. Stroke, 38, 1655–1711.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hacke, W., Kaste, M., Bluhmki, E., Brozman, M., Davalos, A., Guidetti, D., et al. (2008). Thrombolysis with Alteplase 3 to 4.5 hours after acute ischemic stroke. New England Journal of Medicine, 359, 1317–1329.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ocava, L. C. (2006). Antithrombotic and thrombolytic therapy for ischemic stroke. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, 22, 135–154.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, North western University, Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA