We performed a preliminary feasibility and safety study using intravenous (IV) administration of a platelet glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor (abciximab) in conjunction with intraarterial (IA) administration of a thrombolytic agent (reteplase) in a primate model of intracranial thrombosis. We introduced thrombus through superselective catheterization of the intracranial segment of the internal carotid artery in 16 primates. The animals were randomly assigned to receive IA reteplase and IV abciximab ( n =4), IA reteplase and IV placebo ( n =4), IA placebo and IV abciximab ( n =4) or IA and IV placebo ( n =4). Recanalization was assessed by serial angiography during the 6-h period after initiation of treatment. Postmortem magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was performed to determine the presence of cerebral infarction or intracranial hemorrhage. Partial or complete recanalization at 6 h after initiation of treatment (decrease of two or more points in pre-treatment angiographic occlusion grade) was observed in two animals treated with IA reteplase and IV abciximab, three animals treated with IA reteplase alone and one animal treated with IV abciximab alone. No improvement in perfusion was observed in animals that received IV and IA placebo. Cerebral infarction was demonstrated on postmortem MR imaging in three animals that received IA and IV placebo and in one animal each from the groups that received IA reteplase and IV abciximab or IV abciximab alone. One animal that received IV abciximab alone had a small intracerebral hemorrhage on MR imaging. IA reteplase with or without abciximab appeared to be the most effective regimen for achieving recanalization in our model of intracranial thrombosis. Further studies are required in experimental models to determine the optimal dose, method of administration and efficacy of these medications in acute ischemic stroke.