Intravenous Alteplase for Acute Stroke and Pulmonary Embolism in a Patient with Recent Abdominoplasty

Michael E. Christiansen, Gyanendra Kumar, Raman C. Mahabir, Richard A. Helmers, Bernard Bendok, Cumara B. O'Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Major surgery in the past 14 days is a relative contraindication to treatment of acute stroke with intravenous (IV) alteplase. The 2016 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association scientific statement discussing inclusion and exclusion criteria for alteplase in acute stroke allows for provider judgment citing a lack of evidence to support surgery as an absolute contraindication. Case Report: A 59-year-old woman presented with acute left hemiparesis, dysarthria, and acute respiratory failure. National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale was 17. Two days prior she underwent abdominoplasty and liposuction. Computed tomography angiogram of the head demonstrated acute occlusion of right M2, and computed tomography angiogram of the chest was positive for bilateral pulmonary emboli. After urgent consultation with the plastic surgery and neurosurgery teams, the patient was treated with IV alteplase followed by cerebral mechanical thrombectomy. This was complicated by surgical-site hemorrhage in the abdomen requiring operative intervention. Abdominal hemorrhage was controlled and the patient showed remarkable neurological recovery, later being discharged with no residual neurological deficits. Conclusions: Interdisciplinary collaboration can successfully inform the decision to treat acute ischemic stroke with IV alteplase in the setting of recent major surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-152
Number of pages3
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017


  • acute stroke
  • cerebral infarct
  • contraindications
  • off-label thrombolysis
  • tPA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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