Intravenous heparin for the prevention of stroke progression in acute partial stable stroke.
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In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 225 patients with acute partial stable thrombotic stroke were randomly assigned to receive continuous intravenous heparin therapy or placebo for 7 days for the prevention of stroke progression or death. No statistically significant difference between the two groups was found in degree of neurologic change; incidence of stroke progression after 7 days; or functional activity level of survivors at 7 days, 3 months and at 1 year after treatment. Compared with controls, a statistically significant greater number of patients in the group receiving heparin died in the year after the stroke. These deaths occurred 3 to 12 months after the initial stroke and probably were not related to treatment. Results of this study do not support the use of intravenous heparin to treat patients who have had acute partial stroke.
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