Acute recanalization therapy for ischemic stroke during pregnancy and puerperium

Anna Richardt, Karoliina Aarnio, Aino Korhonen, Kirsi Rantanen, Liisa Verho, Sami Curtze, Hannele Laivuori, Mika Gissler, Minna Tikkanen, Petra Ijäs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Background: The safety and efficacy of intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) and endovascular thrombectomy for an ischemic stroke (IS) during pregnancy and puerperium are poorly studied. We evaluated the complications and outcome of recanalization therapy in maternal ISs. Methods: A nationwide cohort of maternal ISs in Finland during 1987–2016 was collected by linking national healthcare registers: Medical Birth Register, Hospital Discharge Register, and Cause-Of-Death Register. The diagnoses were verified retrospectively from patient records. IVT-treated patients were compared to controls, who were young females with non-pregnancy-related IS from the Helsinki Stroke Thrombolysis Registry. Results: Totally, 12 of 97 (12.4%) maternal ISs were treated with recanalization therapy. Compared to controls, IVT-treated maternal IS patients had more frequently early (age-adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 7.63, 95% CI 1.49–39.04) and major (aOR = 8.59, 95% CI 2.09–35.31) neurological improvements, measured using the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale. Good functional outcomes (modified Rankin Scale 0–2) at three months were equally common in maternal ISs and controls. No other complications were observed in IVT-treated maternal ISs than 1 (9.1%) symptomatic nonfatal intracranial hemorrhage. Among maternal IS patients treated with recanalization or conventional therapy, good functional outcome at the end of the follow-up was less common in recanalization-treated patients (66.7% vs 89.4%, aOR = 0.22, 95% CI 0.052–0.90), but otherwise outcomes were similar. Conclusions: In this small nationwide cohort of maternal ISs, the complications of recanalization therapy were rare, and the outcomes were similar in IVT-treated maternal IS patients and controls. Maternal ISs should not be excluded from recanalization therapy in otherwise eligible situations.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2024
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Endovascular thrombectomy
  • Intravenous thrombolysis
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Pregnancy
  • Puerperium
  • Recanalization therapy

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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