TUESDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- Men with acute ischemic stroke are more likely to benefit from tissue-plasminogen activator than women, researchers report in the March 13 issue of Neurology.

Mitchell S.V. Elkind, M.D., of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues measured predictors of outcome in 333 patients treated with recombinant tissue-plasminogen activator (rtPA) in a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled study of acute stroke treatment.

The investigators found that 47.5 percent of men achieved good functional outcomes, measured by the Barthel Index and Rankin Score, three months after treatment compared with only 30.3 percent of women. The sex-specific differences remained even after adjusting for multiple covariates.

"Women are definite candidates for treatment with tPA, which is still our only approved medical treatment for acute ischemic stroke," Elkind said in a prepared statement. "It cannot be overemphasized enough that these are secondary findings from a study done for other purposes. More research is needed to confirm these findings, and to determine why women may not respond as well as men to the treatment."

GlaxoSmithKline provided funding for the original trial and many of the authors have other pharmaceutical company affiliations.

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