In 2003, the EMEA approved the use of intravenous thrombolysis with rt-PA (Actilyse®) for therapy of acute ischaemic stroke within three hours from system onset, under the condition that these patients are treated according to the SITS-MOST protocol (Safe Implementation of Thrombolysis for Stroke - MOnitoring STudy - www.acutestroke.org) and referred to the SITS-MOST registry. Since then, thrombolytic treatment is offered to stroke patients in Greece in a limited number of centers.
After opening a fully equipped Stroke Unit at the Department of Neurology of Papageorgiou General Hospital in Thessaloniki (Greece), 16 patients (11 male, 5 female, median age 60 yrs) were treated with rt-PA for acute ischaemic stroke, according to the SITS-MOST protocol. Median baseline NIHSS (National Institute of Health Stroke Scale) score was 11. 9 patients had large vessel disease, one suffered from cardiogenic embolic stroke, and 6 patients had a lacunar stroke. 10 of the 16 patients experienced quick and lasting amelioration of their deficits, 3 patients remained in unaltered neurological condition, and two patients died from space-occupying extended ischaemic stroke. One patient suffered a symptomatic (fatal) parenchymal haemorrhage.
In spring 2006, the SITS-MOST registry was closed, and final results will be announced at the Karolinska Stroke Update Meeting in Stockholm in November, 2006. At that time point, the comparison of the treatment results at Papageorgiou Hospital with those of the central registry will be possible.