Contrary to some earlier reports, the results of a new study indicate that women and men who've had a stroke have similar outcomes after they're treated with the clot-buster drug tPA.
Numerous reports have shown that if a stroke goes untreated, women fare worse than men. The impact of gender when strokes are treated with tPA, on the other hand, is controversial.
Results from some studies have suggested that male stroke victims treated with tPA fare better than women, while others have suggested just the opposite. Until now, no systematic review had been done comparing the results of clot-buster treatment in men and women, according to the report in the medical journal Stroke.
Since January 2002, Dr. Pierre Marino and colleagues from Bichat University Hospital, Paris, have collected data on all stroke patients who were given injections of tPA at their center. In addition to analyzing these data, the team performed a systematic review of other published studies on this topic.
In general, the team found, there was little evidence that gender had any effect.
There was a suggestion that women were somewhat less likely than men to suffer a brain bleed from tPA treatment — the main hazard of clot-buster therapy — but apart from that there was "no evidence of gender differences in outcomes" after tPA therapy.