Neuroendovascular Rescue: Interventional Treatment of Acute Ischemic Stroke

Curr Treat Options Cardiovasc Med. 2002 Oct;4(5):405-419. doi: 10.1007/s11936-002-0020-6.


Stroke continues to be a major health problem for our society. Despite the proven effectiveness of intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke, only a minority of patients qualify for this type of therapy. Furthermore, the existing literature has demonstrated that t-PA is not as effective in the treatment of occlusion of large cerebral arteries. The benefit-to-risk assessment of this subpopulation of stroke patients makes them the best candidates for neuroendovascular rescue. This term refers to the intra-arterial application of techniques designed to promote arterial recanalization, and includes intra-arterial thrombolysis and antithrombotic agents, direct mechanical disruption, angioplasty, stenting, embolectomy, and vasoactive pharmacologic intervention. The timing and choice of these procedures, as well as the care of the patient prior to, during, and after the intervention, requires a highly focused and expert approach.