The evolving role of acute stroke imaging in intravenous thrombolytic therapy: patient selection and outcomes assessment

Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2005 May;15(2):421-40, xii. doi: 10.1016/j.nic.2005.06.001.


In early trials of thrombolysis, unenhanced CT was used to exclude patients with brain hemorrhage or large infarctions but was insensitive to stroke pathophysiology or early signs of cerebral ischemia or infarction. Currently, CT angiography, CT perfusion, and MR imaging can provide information about stroke mechanisms and prognosis, quantify penumbral tissue, and support risk stratification and patient selection. This article reviews the role of neuroimaging in the original intravenous thrombolytic trials, current application of these technologies, and the potential future role of imaging to extend the time window for thrombolysis and to augment therapeutic success.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / trends*
  • Patient Selection
  • Stroke / diagnosis*
  • Stroke / drug therapy*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / trends*
  • Treatment Outcome