After onset of ischemic stroke, potentially viable tissue at risk (ischemic penumbra) may be salvageable. Currently, intravenous alteplase is approved for up to 4.5 hours after symptom onset of acute ischemic stroke. Increasing this time window may allow many more patients to be treated. The ability to use MRI to help define the irreversibly damaged brain (infarct core) and the reversible ischemic penumbra shows great promise for stroke treatment. Recent advances in penumbral imaging technology may enable a phase III trial of an intravenous thrombolytic to be performed beyond 4.5 hours using techniques to select patients with penumbral tissue.
Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.