Hyperglycemia Worsens Outcome After rt-PA Primarily in the Large-Vessel Occlusive Stroke Subtype

Pitchaiah Mandava, Sharyl R. Martini, Melody Munoz, William Dalmeida, Anand K. Sarma, Jane A. Anderson, Roderic H. Fabian, Thomas A. Kent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Hyperglycemia at the time of ischemic stroke has been associated with poorer outcomes. Preclinical literature suggests that hyperglycemia is an independent prognostic factor and the vasculature is more vulnerable to reperfusion injury. We applied a method to match subjects on important baseline factors to test whether, independent of stroke severity, stroke subtype influences the effect of hyperglycemia on outcome after recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA). We reanalyzed the NINDS rt-PA dataset with respect to matching variables baseline NIHSS, age, and investigator-determined stroke subtypes small-vessel occlusive stroke (SVS), large-vessel occlusive stroke (LVS), and cardioembolic stroke (CES), above and below a glucose threshold of 150 mg/dl. Ninety-day outcomes were compared. Post hoc baseline matching was excellent in most cases. Hyperglycemia was associated with worsened functional outcome mostly in the LVS subtype with increased mortality in the placebo arm (15.3 % mortality normoglycemia vs. 30.6 % hyperglycemia; p =.046), worse functional outcome in the rt-PA arm (modified Rankin Score (mRS) 0–1; 46.3 vs. 22.0 %; p =.034), and no improvement in functional outcome with rt-PA compared to placebo (mRS 0–1; 25 % in both groups). Among hyperglycemic subjects, CES subjects showed significant improvement following rt-PA (p =.027). After matching for baseline severity, the influence of hyperglycemia on outcome was primarily in the LVS subtype, especially after rt-PA. This finding is consistent with a deleterious effect of hyperglycemia on ischemia/reperfusion of symptomatic large arteries. If confirmed, the particular vulnerability of the LVS subtype is important in understanding the role of stroke subtype in the mechanism of worsening and potential treatment of hyperglycemic stroke patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-525
Number of pages7
JournalTranslational Stroke Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014


  • Acute ischemic stroke
  • Alteplase
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperglycemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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