Background: There is no proven treatment for stroke progression in patients with subcortical infarcts. Eptifibatide, a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor, might halt stroke progression by improving flow in the microcirculation. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of patients with subcortical stroke who experienced deterioration and were treated with eptifibatide (loading dose 180 μg/kg; infusion 2 μg/kg/min) for 24-48 h. Oral antiplatelet agents were started 6 h before discontinuation of eptifibatide. Results: Twenty-four patients with subcortical strokes were treated. The median admission NIHSS score was 5.0, which worsened to 8.5 (motor 5.0) before starting eptifibatide. The median NIHSS score 24 h after starting eptifibatide was 5.5. At 24 h, 42% had motor NIHSS scores less than or equal to pre-deterioration scores (50% for total NIHSS), and 50% had improved at least 1 motor point compared to pre-eptifibatide scores, which was sustained until hospital discharge. At discharge, the median total NIHSS score was 4.5. Ninety-two percent of patients were discharged home or to inpatient rehabilitation. Treatment was stopped early in 1 case due to a platelet drop <100,000/μl. No systemic or intracerebral bleeding occurred. Conclusions: Eptifibatide infusion may be safe in patients with subcortical ischemic strokes. Future studies are needed to test the safety and potential efficacy of this agent in subcortical stroke progression.
- Subcortical infarct
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine