Table of Contents
Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume 2011, Article ID 254569, 4 pages
Case Report

Case Series of Post-Thrombolysis Patients Undergoing Hemicraniectomy for Malignant Anterior Circulation Ischaemic Stroke

1Department of Neurosurgery, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, PL6 8DH, UK
2Department of Neurology, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, PL6 8DH, UK
3Department of Neurosurgery, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, BS16 1LE, UK

Received 30 September 2010; Revised 31 October 2010; Accepted 13 February 2011

Academic Editor: Gjumrakch Aliev

Copyright © 2011 A. Williams et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


While ischaemic stroke remains a leading cause of death and disability, there have been recent advancements in treatment modalities including thrombolysis and decompressive hemicraniectomy. A retrospective review of patients treated in our NHS teaching hospital, in Plymouth (UK), over a 2 year period identified 17 thrombolysed patients, of whom two had undergone subsequent decompressive hemicraniectomy. These were non-dominant hemisphere strokes in young patients, aged 51 and 57. Initial NIHSS scores were 16 and 17, and they received thrombolysis at 2 hrs 42 min and 5 hrs 10 min post onset of symptoms respectively. CT imaging demonstrated cerebral swelling with significant midline shift in both cases, and decompressive hemicraniectomy was undertaken at 29 hrs 8 min and 27 hrs 30 min post-thrombolysis. We found no significant intra-operative complications attributable to prior use of thrombolytics. Both patients have had acceptable psychological and physical outcomes, with Barthel Index scores of 40 and 25, and MMSE scores of 29/30 and 27/30. We conclude that the use of thrombolytic therapy does not contra-indicate subsequent decompressive hemicraniectomy in well selected patients with non-dominant hemisphere strokes. More research in this field is required to elucidate factors which would facilitate recognition of stroke patients who will benefit most from aggressive medical and neurosurgical intervention.