Computed tomography perfusion-based selection of patients for endovascular recanalization

Neurosurg Focus. 2011 Jun;30(6):E6. doi: 10.3171/2011.4.FOCUS10296.


Intravenous and intraarterial recombinant tissue plasminogen activator remains underutilized in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke, largely due to strict adherence to the concept of the therapeutic time window for administration. Recent efforts to expand the number of patients eligible for thrombolysis have been mirrored by an evolution in endovascular recanalization technology and techniques. As a result, there is a growing need to establish efficient and reliable means by which to select candidates for endovascular intervention beyond the traditional criteria of time from symptom onset. Perfusion imaging techniques, particularly CT perfusion used in combination with CT angiography, represent an increasingly recognized means by which to identify those patients who stand to benefit most from endovascular recanalization. Additionally, CT perfusion and CT angiography appear to provide sufficient data by which to exclude patients in whom there is little chance of neurological recovery or a substantial risk of postprocedure symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage. The authors review the current literature as it pertains to the limitations of time-based selection of patients for intervention, the increasing utilization of endovascular therapy, and the development of a CT perfusion-based selection of acute stroke patients for endovascular recanalization. Future endeavors must prospectively evaluate the utility and safety of CT perfusion-based selection of candidates for endovascular intervention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Ischemia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Ischemia / therapy*
  • Cerebral Angiography / methods
  • Cerebral Revascularization / methods
  • Cerebral Revascularization / standards*
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection*
  • Perfusion Imaging / methods*
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / standards*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*