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This article is the authors’ final published version in Medicine, Volume 94, Issue 52, December 2015, Article number e2412.

The published version is available at Copyright © Liu et al.


Recent studies have investigated the most efficacious dose of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV-tPA) for acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients. There remains no definitive consensus concerning the superior efficacious IV-tPA dose (standard- vs. low-dose), prompting us to perform a meta-analysis comparing the efficacy and safety profile of standard- versus low-dose IV-tPA.We identified relevant studies pertaining to the specific aim of our meta-analysis by searching PubMed and EMBASE (January 1990-September 2015) Either a fixed- or random-effects model was employed (dependent upon data heterogeneity) to analyze the efficacy and safety outcome.Ten cohort studies involving 4389 sum patients were included in the meta-analysis. By using the random-effects model, the meta-analysis indicated no statistically significant difference in favorable functional outcome (modified Rankin scale 0-1) at 3 months (heterogeneity: χ = 17.45, P = 0.04, I = 48%; OR: 0.88 [95% CI: 0.71-1.11]; P = 0.28) and incidence of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (SICH) (heterogeneity: χ = 14.41, P = 0.11, I = 38%; OR: 1.19 [95% CI: 0.76 to 1.87]; P = 0.45) between the standard- and low-dose groups. The fixed-effects model demonstrated no significant difference in mortality within 3 months (heterogeneity: χ = 6.73, P = 0.57, I = 0%; OR: 0.91 [95% CI: 0.73-1.12]; P = 0.37) between the standard- and low-dose groups.Low-dose IV-tPA is comparable to standard-dose IV-tPA in both efficacy (favorable functional outcome) and safety (SICH and mortality). Confirmation of these findings through randomized trials is warranted.

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